Pied Oystercatcher (species: Haematopus longirostris) in taxonomy (Gaia Guide)
Haematopus longirostris
Pied Oystercatcher

©Leo: Pied Oystercatcher striding along Wallagoot Beach, Australia

©Ralph Green: Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)

©Alec Brennan: Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Charadriiformes
Family Haematopodidae
Genus Haematopus
Species Haematopus longirostris
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

It has a 5–8 cm long orange-red beak, slender pink legs and black and white plumage. With the wings extended, a white wing-stripe is also visible. The male and female show little differentiation, except that the males generally sport a shorter, wider beak. (Wikipedia)

Juveniles have a duller bill with a black tip.  Their eyes are brown and their legs are grey.


  • Up to 50 cm (Length of specimen)


  • Wingspan data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution: Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)

Distribution and habitat preferences

It is a wading bird native to Australia and commonly found on its coastline.

Audio recordings


NSW, Australia

© Marc Anderson


They feed mainly on bivalve molluscs, but also take other invertebrates. The techniques they use to break open the shells of the molluscs vary greatly and are thought to be learned behaviour. (Wikipedia)

Web resources


  • Simpson, K., N. Day and P. Trusler (2004). Field Guide to Birds of Australia: 7th Edition Penguin Group (Australia), Camberwell, Victoria.