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FOUR SIMPLE STEPS FOR THE PROTECTION OF AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS

Posted on the 25th October 2020

FOUR SIMPLE STEPS FOR THE PROTECTION OF AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS
(Based on research and development work initially undertaken by the Nature’s Valley Trust)

People rush to beaches not knowing what risk they pose to beach breeding birds. What might be a nice day for us may end up in anxious adult birds or even a killing spree for birds.

1. KNOW WHERE THEY OCCUR
Rocky seashores, sandy beaches and mixed rocky and sandy shores along the South African shoreline 

2. KNOW THE BIRD
# They feed on mussels, worms and limpets
# Incubation period (Period on nest): 32 DAYS. Fledgling period (The time it takes until the youngsters can look after themselves): AT LEAST 55 DAYS. This implies that the area needs to be protected for 3 months
They breed between October and April 

3. KNOW WHERE THEY BREED
# Nests are shallow scrapes in the sand lined with washed-up kelp, rocks and shells
# Nests disturbed by people or dogs could cause eggs to overheat, being predated or even fail 

4. DO THE FOLLOWING ON BEACHES:
# Report breeding activity or chicks at birding@overberg.co.za or 082 550 3347
# Watch your steps and do not approach within 30 meters of such nests
# No driving on beaches
# Dogs should at least be leashed near such sites
# Do not litter

A photographic overview of such a breeding and chick raising process by Jenny Parsons can be viewed at this link:
http://www.westerncapebirding.co.za/overberg/news/2437/the_life_cycle_of_an_african_oystercatcher_breeding_site

These nest warning signs are now being set up at identified breeding sites of African Black Oystercatchers and White-fronted Plovers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African Black Oystercatcher with chick. Image by Charles Naude

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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