Date: 6/11/18 10:39 pm
From: Linda Fink <linda...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Oystercatchers
Having monitored Black Oystercatcher nests every year since 2005, I
cannot agree that the population is in good shape or that all habitats
are in use. Of the 6 nest sites I have found over the years in my
territory (Road's End and Cascade Head), only 2 are in use this year. 3
of the remaining 4 are apparently too overwhelmed with eagles to make
BLOY comfortable nesting there. The 4th apparently lost one of the pair
last year and the mate has not returned with a new partner. One lone
BLOY did appear today while I was monitoring the 2 remaining nests at
Road's End and caused a great deal of uproar at both nest sites as it
tried to horn in. Much screaming and chasing and hysteria until the
interloper was chased off for good.

Not all BLOY that look like adults are of breeding age. BLOY do not
breed until their 3rd year. Those sub-adults generally hang out in
groups of 3-5 individuals, but I've seen 10 or more together at Short
Beach, unpaired, during breeding season. It's a popular bathing spot for

Some folks on the south coast who monitor nests have a lot of losses to
peregrines. Likewise at Cape Meares. May survey numbers have not changed
much during the time I've been involved so maybe the population is
holding but only, I suspect, because the birds can live a very long time
if not lost to predation (like 40 years). And, since they nest just a
bit above the high tide line, they are very susceptible to rising sea
levels. As the bigger offshore rock nesting seabirds are pushed upward,
the BLOY are going to lose out.

Linda Fink, admittedly partial to the noisy black shorebirds with long
red bills

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