American Oystercatchers in our Sights
By Todd Pover, Beach Nesting Bird Project Manager
Did you know that American oystercatchers don’t just nest in New Jersey, but that we also have the northernmost wintering population on the Atlantic Coast? Our state’s coastal inlets are also important as stopover sites for migratory oystercatchers. Yesterday, we counted a flock of over 300 oystercatchers on Champagne Island in Hereford Inlet and this morning we surveyed a smaller flock of about 75 birds in Corson’s Inlet. In addition to counting the birds, we also look for (i.e. resight) color bands during the surveys. Most of the bands are from birds that nested here, but a number of bands from other states, such as Massachusetts, are also currently being seen. New Jersey bands are orange colored – you can see two of “ours” in the photo above.