Pied Oystercatchers breeding in Roebuck Bay – 10,000 Birds

Roebuck Bay is a well known location for bird-watching round Broome. It’s particularly famend for the migratory shorebirds they usually have been getting back from the Northern hemisphere to our shores in current weeks. The mudflats of Roebuck Bay are the feeding grounds for hundreds of shorebirds and as soon as the tide is available in they roost on the shore across the excessive tide mark. There was a small flock of round forty to fifty Pied Oystercatchers in Roebuck Bay for almost all of the years that we have now lived right here since 1999. On the farthest level of Roebuck Bay to the south there’s typically a flock of Pied Oystercatchers that quantity a number of hundred birds. This huge flock is usually the non-breeding birds and on one event we have now noticed a nest there, however we have no idea the end result of it.

Lately there have been Pied Oystercatchers making an attempt to breed alongside the shores of Roebuck Bay. This was not one thing that was identified to happen till just lately and the Pied Oystercatchers seem like having some luck this breeding season. The realm is used as a looking floor for big raptors together with the White-bellied Sea-Eagle and Brahmin Kite. By coincidence the return of the migratory shorebirds is similtaneously the Pied Oystercatchers breed right here. Two of the preferred seashores for shorebirds roosting have additionally been the nest websites for 2 pairs of Pied Oystercatchers that is breeding season.

Our observations just lately have proven that the grownup Pied Oystercatchers are rooting amongst the shorebirds the place attainable and it could properly defend the juvenile Pied Oystercatchers. One of many pairs of Pied Oystercatchers has two younger which might be a few weeks outdated now, however rising quick. Because the tide drops the birds all transfer ahead to wash and feed and the Pied Oystercatcher household turns into extra seen. The header photograph above exhibits the 2 juvenile birds with one grownup. The juvenile birds are nonetheless gray, so that they mix in fairly properly with the opposite shorebirds on the seashore.

Pied Oystercatcher household with two chicks

When all the shorebirds fly up attributable to a raptor flying by the Pied Oystercatchers are much more seen. fortunately the shorebirds quickly returned to the identical seashore and the Pied Oystercatcher household have been lots much less apparent. It isn’t uncommon for an grownup Pied Oystercatcher to fly up and attempt to transfer a raptor on after they have younger to take care of.

Pied Oystercatchers on the transfer

At one other seashore there was a household of Pied Oystercatchers amongst the shorebirds. On this seashore there was just one juvenile, which had already began to get its grownup black coloring. Though it nearly appears like an grownup Pied Oystercatcher it has one huge drawback and that’s that it might probably’t fly but and will not be capable of for a pair extra weeks. When all the shorebirds carry off the Pied Oystercatcher keep on the seashore and wait their return, which is usually solely a minute or so.

Pied Oystercatcher household amongst the migratory shorebirds and terns

Though the juvenile Pied Oystercatcher is beginning to change into black throughout its bib and wing feathers it nonetheless has among the grey feathers on its head. It’s nearly the identical dimension as its dad and mom and though it has a purple invoice it stays darkish on the tip. At this stage of growth it’s nonetheless counting on its dad and mom for meals and is studying how one can feed.

Juvenile Pied Oystercatcher amongst the migratory shorebirds and Gull-billed Terns

We’re hopeful that this technique of rooting amongst so many different birds might have benefits and assist in the survival of the juvenile Pied Oystercatchers. It’s all the time attention-grabbing to look at totally different Pied Oystercatcher breeding methods on totally different seashores round our native space.

In case you are questioning what species of migratory shorebirds are in these flocks for the time being they encompass Bar-tailed Godwit, black tailed godwit, Asian Dowitcher, Nice Knot, Crimson Knot, Frequent Greenshank, Gray-tailed Tatler, Sandpiper Terek, Larger Sand Plover, Lesser Sand Plover, Ruddy Turnstone, Grey Plover, Crimson-capped Plover, Crimson-necked Stint, Frequent Sandpiper, Jap Curlew, Whimbrel, Curlew Sandpiper, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper and likewise quite a lot of terns! Most of the migratory shorebirds nonetheless have a few of their breeding plumage.