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Australia’s oldest oystercatcher

Discussion in 'Bird Taxidermy' started by magicmick, Sep 4, 2017.

  1. magicmick

    magicmick magicmick


    Banding birds has produced many unexpected records over the years, and the recent sighting of an Australian Pied Oystercatcher with bands on its legs at Marion Bay in Tasmania has rewritten the record books as the oldest-known bird of the species, clocking in at over 32 years old!

    The bird was colour-banded as a youngster by Dr Mike Newman at Barilla Bay back in December 1984, when it was given the combination of black/green/red on its right leg. This colour combination is unique, making it possible for ornithologists and other observers to identify this individual bird as it moved about.

    As it turned out, it only moved 30 kilometres away, a far cry from the record movement by a Pied Oystercatcher of over 1400 kilometres (from Werribee in Victoria to Southport in Queensland), but what this Tasmanian bird lacked in wanderlust it made up for in longevity.

    When the oystercatcher was seen again earlier this year at Marion Bay by Dr Eric Woehler, the Convenor of BirdLife Tasmania, the time elapsed between when it was banded and Dr Woehler’s sighting was a whopping 32 years, 2 months and 9 days. This not only makes it the oldest Pied Oystercatcher known in Australia, but it’s also the longest time between banding and recovery of a bird with colour bands on its legs for any species in Australia.

    Australian Pied Oystercatchers lay their eggs on sandy beaches, and like many beach-nesting birds, they are subject to disturbance from people visiting the beach and inundation by rising sea levels and increased storm surges along Tasmania’s coastline. Facing such threats, it’s remarkable that the oystercatcher has managed to survive for so long.

  2. Brian

    Brian Active Member

    Wow totally cool read.thanks

  3. Shawn73

    Shawn73 Active Member

    Interesting story. There is a albatross named wisdom that was banded 65 years ago. Google that bird story. It doesn't seem possible.
  4. Shawn73

    Shawn73 Active Member

  5. magicmick

    magicmick magicmick

    I read that story b4, i wonda how birds she has layed over the years.