I got wind of a nest on a rock off shore at Avila Beach, California – a Black Oystercatcher family. These little guys hatched just a few days before these photos were taken. Warning: Major chick cuteness!
Few other birds are as well equipped to forage up and down the slippery rocks. Small structures on the oystercatcher‘s partially webbed feet allow it to cling to wet surfaces. The bird wields its bill like an oyster knife, a tool to deal with hard-shelled mollusks. The bill is compressed and has a chisel-like tip. An Oystercatcher can eat more than 100 pounds of mussel meat. (Excerpt from “Introduction to Birds of the Southern California Coast” by Joan Easton Lentz)