Oystercatchers, Galapagos Islands

      Continuing the bird photography theme,  I’m pretty sure these birds are called oystercatchers,  if I’m wrong please let me know.   Photographed in the Galapagos Islands I recall we landed on a nice little beach one afternoon and it proved very nice for swimming and snorkelling but not before I’d done a little exploration.     Back from the beach was a small pond where these birds were happily poking around in the sand and shallow water looking for a feed.

Getting low with a telephoto lens

Originally captured on 35mm colour negative film,  I was using the Pentax SF7 with a Tokina 80-400mm zoom plus a 1.5x teleconverter so a focal length of 600mm.    Getting a good angle on the birds meant getting down on my belly to get as low as possible.  Unfortunately, the autofocus on the camera was broken due to an unfortunate mishap a few days earlier,  so all focusing was manual.    Not a huge problem in this instance as the birds weren’t moving quickly.

American Oystercatcher, Galapagos Islands
American Oystercatcher at water’s edge

Conservation status

  The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) is a common species found throughout the coastal areas of both the Americas.   Indeed it appears that in North America their numbers have actually increased in recent years.   (An environmental good news story!  ~KD)   The birds shown here are the endemic subspecies galapagensis, with a population of around 200 pairs, they are confined to rocky shores, sandy beaches and coastal lagoons.