SIPO vs Pied Oystercatcher

To: David Stowe <>
Subject: SIPO vs Pied Oystercatcher
From: peter crow <>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 08:29:43 +1000
Hello David,

According to Barrie Heather's Field Guide to NZ birds the NZ sub-species of the Pied Oystercatche,r Heamatopus ostralegus is h finschi, which we call the South Island Pied Oystercatcher. So almost every bird you see should be an SPIO.

On Wednesday, March 14, 2007, at 08:21 PM, David Stowe wrote:

I was wondering if someone could post some points for us amateurs to help ID a South Island Pied Oystercatcher compared to a "normal" Pied Oystercatcher?? I take it from Murray's posting that they have more white under the wings?? I'm going to New Zealand later in the year so i will hopefully have first hand experience then.

I went down to Kurnell today but only Oystercatchers i saw were Sooty's at Boat Harbour. (Sydney) There was a Kelp Gull there too which was cool. I don't think this is a rare sighting here though. I managed to see an Albatross a long way out too but really no idea of species. Seemed to have dark wings both top and bottom but i must be wrong as i can't find anything like it in the field guide. Oh well - another one that got away!

David Stowe

"Steve says: "I spent a long time looking at it, both with my scope and binoculars. When it flew, I clearly saw that it had an almost completely white underwing; the white seemed to extend almost to the edge of the wing, where it turned greyish - there simply wasn't a black frame around the white part." He didn't get a view of the back unfortunately.

I have raised the possibility of juvenile Pied Oystercatcher with Steve - see the plate in HANZAB which shows more white under the wing. He hasn't had a chance to have a look at that plate yet, but at the moment his view has not changed, that the bird was a SIPO."
Let me know if anyone manages to locate the bird.



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