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Hybrid Oystercatcher, La Jolla Cove/Children’s Pool

Hybrid Oystercatcher, La Jolla Cove/Children’s Pool

By {authorlink} – 3:40 pm

I received some superb photos of today’s American-type oystercatcher from Olivia Arizmendi and Peter Thomas.
When we saw the bird flying in the field, the tail looked half black and extensively white at the base.
Olivia’s photos show that this was an illusion created by some of the uppertail coverts having extensive white in them.
The tail is no more than 1/4 white, but possibly less.

Keying everything out—and so much in the scale involves subjective judgments—I get between 29-32 on the Jehl scale. Too iffy to more definitively label as an American.
This coincides with an individual that has been intermittently present in the area for several months and that is also right on the cusp of about 30 on the Jehl scale.

Stan Walens, San Diego
February 12, 2023; 3:25 pm