Bird Families

Oystercatcher / Haematopus ostralegus


Oystercatcher, mainland subspecies - Haematopus ostralegus (longipes) Buturlin, 1910

Rarity category: 3 is a sporadically widespread subspecies, rare in the European part of the range.

Spread: The type specimen was described from the upper reaches of the Ob (the Alei River). The area occupies the center and south of the European part of Russia, West. and, in part, Central Siberia [1-4]. North. the border runs in the upper Volga, captures the lake. Kubenskoe, rr. Sukhona, Vagu, the middle reaches of the Northern Dvina, the middle reaches of the Pechora and the upper reaches of the Ilych, in the West. Siberia along the Ob reaches Salekhard. East. distributed to the lower reaches of the Abakan, on the Yenisei, only fly-overs were recorded. South the border of the range in the Asian chati goes beyond Russia, in the European it captures the Volga delta, the Caspian coast, r. Terek, the coast of the Black and Azov seas. Zap. the border of the range runs outside of Russia. Within the range, especially in the European part, it occurs sporadically: in the bass. Dona nests in places on the Upper and Middle Don and large tributaries, the Don-Tsimlyanskiy sands. It is widely distributed along the Volga and its main tributaries; it is absent in most of the Volga reservoirs [7-15]. Breeds in the upper and middle reaches of the Northern Dvina, Pechora and their tributaries. The Ob inhabits from Barnaul to Salekhard, nests on the Irtysh, Ishim, Tobol and the lower reaches of their main tributaries. Nesting was noted on the lake. Chany, r. Chulym, rivers Yuzh. Urals, Saratov Trans-Volga region, middle course of the Desna.

Habitat: Kulik-magpie is a narrow stenobiont, nesting mainly along the sea coasts, in well-developed valleys of large and medium-sized rivers, along the coastline of fresh and salty lakes in areas with sandy-pebble shoals, spits, islands weakly fixed by vegetation. Avoids swampy and wooded banks, rivers with narrow deeply incised valleys. Occasionally nests in floodplain meadows, choosing areas with low grass stand (abandoned roads, fireplaces, drifts, etc.). Cases of nesting have been recorded in potato fields and on dumps and alluvial maps of sand pits. Reproduction begins at the age of 47-59 months, the life expectancy established for the nominative subspecies is 35 years. A significant proportion of birds do not breed annually, remaining in the nesting area. Breeds in solitary pairs, in some cases together with Lesser and River Terns. In clutch there are 2-4, more often 3 eggs. One clutch per season. The easy accessibility of the nests determines the high mortality rate of clutches - up to 38%. Refers to distant migrants, winters on the coasts of the Red Sea, Persian Gulf., India, East. Africa [1.4], Mediterranean Sea. It feeds on sea beaches, on sandy and rocky littoral, on muddy shoals that are released at low tide, along the banks of the lower reaches of rivers. The shores, steeply into the water and with narrow beaches, are unsuitable for nesting and feeding. It feeds on invertebrates (crustaceans, molluscs, insects).

Number: On sowing. the European part of Russia as a whole is not numerous, in the central and southern. parts are rare. In the bass. In the Sea of ​​Azov, the largest nesting groups are known on the Taman Peninsula (60 pairs) and Dono-Tsimlyanskiy sands (100-150 pairs) [25-27], in other districts nests in single pairs [28,29]. Along the Volga it is not numerous in the delta, more common in the Volga-Akhtuba floodplain. Before the creation of reservoirs, it was common throughout the Middle Volga, at present it nests only in scattered small groups or single pairs, the number, for example, in the region of the Kuibyshevsky Reservoir, has sharply decreased. On the Upper Volga and most of its tributaries, it is rare, the number is low. In Bashkortostan, it is rare with a constant tendency to decrease in numbers. Some very rare pairs are found on large and medium-sized rivers (Dema, Sakmara, etc.). For most regions of the Center of Russia, it is a rare or very rare subspecies that are declining in numbers. In the area of ​​the Oka Nature Reserve, up to 4 pairs / 10 km of the Oka channel nested, on the river. Sura in the Penza region. 8-10 pairs nest, in the Ulyanovsk region. 50-60 pairs. In the Molozhsky spur of the Rybinsk Reservoir. in 1967-1971 numbered 0.5 individuals / 10 km of the coast. More common in Vyatka, where the number is only in the Kirov region. 700-800 nesting pairs. On the Pechora and its tributaries, it is rare - 0.02–0.18 individuals / 10 km of river channels [33, 34]. In general, in the European part of Russia there are 2-4 thousand breeding pairs. The state of the population in the Asian part of the range of the mainland subspecies, in the bass, is relatively safe. Obi, south. Trans-Urals. In the subzone sowing. taiga in the Ob floodplain, the population density in nesting habitats reaches 21 individuals / km2. To the south, the number sharply decreases, amounting to 2-3 individuals / km2 in the middle taiga. To the south. taiga is common on small rivers of the Ob floodplain, rare on the Irtysh and rivers of the subtaiga zone [35,36]. In the bass. The Yenisei River in the Minusinsk Basin is very rare and the number is decreasing. The main limiting factors are the natural limitedness of nesting sites, low rates of reproduction, and sensitivity to the disturbance factor. The decline in the number was facilitated by a reduction in the area of ​​nesting habitats (due to the construction of reservoirs), their degradation as a result of increased recreational use, an increase in the pressure of predators in floodplains, incl. corvids [14,38].

Security: Included in the Appendix of the agreement concluded between Russia and India on the protection of migratory birds. A small part of the population is protected in the Astrakhan, Darvinsky and some other reserves and national parks. On the territory of Russia, special protection measures are required for the European part of the range of the mainland subspecies. It is necessary to identify the main places of concentration on nesting and their inclusion in specially protected or natural areas with limited economic and recreational use during the nesting period.

A source: 1. Gladkov, 1951, 2. Zinoviev, 1980, 3. Ivanov et al., 1953, 4. Kozlova, 1961, 5. Rogacheva, 1988, 6. Belik, 1988, 7. Ayupov, 1980, 8. Bakka, 1990 , 9. Vorontsov, 1967, 10. Kotyukov et al., In press, 11. Krivonosov et al., 1973, 12. Plessky, 1977, 13. Ptushenko,


The oystercatcher (lat.Haematopus ostralegus) is a coastal bird from the order Charadriiformes. She settles along the shores of salt and fresh water bodies.

At the end of the nesting site, thousands of birds flock to the feeding places.


The oystercatcher is a migratory species. They nest mainly on the coast of the White and Barents Seas, reaching the Far East and Siberia. They fly to the south of Africa and to Asia or the south-west of Europe during the winter. Usually birds are located on pebble or sandy shores, although they can also settle in river estuaries.

At the end of the nesting season, they gather in large flocks and usually settle in coastal areas with high and low tides. In such areas, as a rule, a lot of food remains after low tide.

After the meal, the oystercatcher begins to actively pursue its relatives and shout at them. Often these games develop into real carnage. Representatives of this species closely follow the arriving and departing birds.

If an unwanted guest approaches a close distance, the sandpiper signals an attack, and all his fellow tribesmen rush to the stranger with a cry.

Magpie waders on their territory make life easier for other birds. They are quick-witted, avoid humans, and can always recognize a fisherman or a shepherd.

Observant birds know that they do not pose a danger to them, so they calmly let them in. They treat all other people with caution and recognize the hunter from afar, raising a loud cry.

Despite its awkward appearance, this bird is very mobile.

She moves in short dashes, often kicking her legs, but on occasion she can run quickly. Possessing wide-brimmed paws, it moves freely on silty soil. The bird swims great and flies well.


The main food for waders is crustaceans, small molluscs and, very rarely, insects. All day oystercatcher combing the coastal zone in search of food. The light movement of the mollusk makes the bird stick its beak into the sandy shore and catch its prey.

During the night hunt, the bird combes all the sand. If a shell comes across, it grabs it with its beak and hits it against a stone. This action ends only when a hole is formed in the sink.

Having thrust his beak into the resulting hole, the hunter cuts the muscle-closure and calmly swallows the entire contents.

If a very large mollusk comes across, then the bird patiently waits for the shell to open its flaps a little and then immediately stick its beak there and eat its favorite delicacy.


In early spring in March-April, the birds find a mate. As a rule, a married couple is formed for several seasons. Spouses can return to their original place and use last year's nest to incubate their offspring.

During the nesting period, a large flock of birds settles on the coast, overgrown with thickets of grass and bushes.

The beginning of the current period can be determined by the loud calls emitted by the males.

The formed pair proceeds to the arrangement of the nest. The couple dig a hole and equip a nest in it. Then the female lays there 3 brown and covered with small dots eggs. Both birds incubate the clutch, alternately changing each other. The incubation period takes about 26 days.

The hatched chicks are covered with soft fluff, which makes them invisible. Barely dry, they leave the nest and follow their mother. For 35 days, parents carefully take care of their offspring.

Then the juveniles stand on the wing and move on to independent existence. Young people spend their first winter together with adults.


The body length of adult birds is 41-47 cm, the wingspan is 75-85 cm. Males weigh 425-805 g, and females 445-825 g. There is no pronounced sexual dimorphism. Dark eyes are outlined with bright strokes.

The head is large, with a red and slightly flattened beak on the sides. The plumage on the upper part of the body is black, part of the back and undertail are white.

Small white stripes are visible on the open wings. In the air, the black tail fan out.

The long red legs are devoid of plumage and are equipped with three forward-pointing toes with black claws.

The oystercatcher in the wild can live up to 35 years.