African black oystercatcher adult and chick

African Black Oystercatcher_©PeterChadwick_AfricanConservationPhotographer

An adult African black oystercatcher calls its large chick to a piece of stranded seaweed covered in small invertebrates. The adult is teaching the chick to start feeding for itself and encourages it to peck amongst the beach detritus.

As time passes, the adult will feed the chick less allowing independence to follow but by showing what is edible and where to search for food the adult is passing on the best knowledge possible that gives the chick the greatest chance of survival. The African black oystercatcher is Birdlife South Africa’s selected bird of the year and is justifiably so as one of our most charismatic shorebirds!