Identifying SIPO

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Identifying SIPO
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Mar 2007 16:05:45 +1000
Steve Ransom asked:
"Can anyone send me a link to an image that shows the underside of a juvenile OZPO's wing? I have looked quite extensively to no avail."

Unfortunately I did not include a shot of the underwing of a Pied Oystercatcher in my collection of images comparing SIPO to OZPO. I have recognised this failing for some time but have neglected doing something about it. Perhaps this is the incentive.

Simplistically, the area of the underwing indicated by the arrows and an 'X' in my image of the underwing of the SIPO would be basically dark or near enough to black on the Pied Oystercatcher (OZPO).
That is, on the OZPO half the underwing would be black and the other half white.
The difference would be quite obvious. But you might have to observe the bird for some time before it raises its wing for you to see.

As it was put to me and I subsequently observed, if you are in doubt it is probably a Pied Oystercatcher. The SIPO does stand out in a crowd due to its short legs, long tapered bill and its overall size; you will *know* when you see one.
The back pattern can be hard to see and the amount of white exposed on the 
folded wing is variable.
Pied Oystercatcher bills can range from 61 mm (male) to 90 mm (female) while SIPO bills can range from 73 mm (m) to 98 mm (f) but SIPO bills are a different shape to those of OZPOs.


Bob Inglis


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