West Side Catchers

Black Oystercatchers seem to prefer the North Basin waters on the east side of the park. Or maybe I see them more often because I go there more often. In any event, this pair perched at the water’s edge on the west side, with the westerly breeze sometimes wetting their knees. The first one shown in the video finds a mussel about the size of a human fingernail. It wedges its prey in a crack in the rock and then, with a well aimed blow of its chisel beak, splits it open, and moments later devours the content. The second bird then arrives but does not hunt. One and then the other gives a call, and then both fly off westward, toward San Francisco and out of sight.

Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmanii)