Help rquired to identify races of Sooty Oystercatchers.

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: Help rquired to identify races of Sooty Oystercatchers.
From: "Robert Inglis" <>
Date: Sun, 27 Jan 2008 14:42:16 +1000
Hi all,

I have just uploaded a set of 11 photos of Sooty Oystercatchers to my Flickr account at:
(click on Sooty Oystercatcher Set.)

I am of the opinion that the photos depict both races/sub-species of Haematopus fuliginosus, i.e., H. f. fuliginosus and H. f. opthalmicus.
But I am not experienced enough with the two races to be sure.
And, considering where the photos were taken, if any of the birds are race opthalmicus then they would be well outside the distribution shown in my field guides and stated in HANZAB.

Would any of the shorebird experts be willing to view the images and give their opinion? Please.

I deliberately haven't attached any comments with the photos to indicate where each photo was taken but I will add that after I get some comments.

Note: this is not a "Mystery Bird" competition. I do have some ideas about the birds in the photos but I would like more expert advice.

I am happy to receive private communications on this topic from people who do not wish to have their names and/or comments made public but I would appreciate it if the emails are signed with a real and full name.

On the other hand, I believe this is a genuine birding question and would more than likely be of interest to a number of the Birding-Aus congregation.

I would also like to know of a reliable location for seeing and photographing H. f. opthalmicus.


Bob Inglis
Sandstone Point


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