South Island pied oystercatcher (tōrea)

The South Island pied oystercatcher is the most abundant oystercatcher in New Zealand.

It will usually be found in a flock and has strongly contrasting white and black plumage with a long red bill. It is smaller than the variable oystercatcher, but has a similar call evocative of wide open coastal spaces.

The pied oystercatcher uses the Abel Tasman as a wintering ground and the adults migrate south to breed during the summer. It prefers feeding in soft, inter-tidal sediments.

South Island pied oystercatcher (tōrea)

South Island pied oystercatcher (tōrea). Photo: New Zealand Birds Online

South Island pied oystercatcher (tōrea) calls on New Zealand Birds Online.

More info on New Zealand Birds Online.