The oystercatcher is a large, stocky, black and white wading bird. It has a long, orange-red bill and reddish-pink legs. In flight it shows a wide, white wing-stripe, a black tail and a white rump that extends as a 'V' between the wings.
Because it eats cockles, the population is vulnerable if cockle beds are overexploited.
They breed on almost all UK coasts. During the last 50 years, more birds have started breeding inland. Most UK birds spend the winter on the coast where they are joined on the east coast by birds from Norway.
What they eat:
Mussels and cockles on the coast, mainly worms inland.
- UK breeding:
- 110,000 pairs
- UK wintering:
- 340,000 birds