American Oystercatchers, with their orange, carrot-like bills and piercing cries, are a familiar sight on the east coast of the United States. It is the rare beach-goer who fails to take notice of the birds if they are present and it is even more rare for someone to notice them and fail to think that they are one cool bird. Of course, I agree strongly and whenever oystercatchers are in my vicinity I can’t help trying to get decent pictures of them.

Such was the situation back in March when I was seeing what birds had arrived along the coast of Queens on a birding outing. Three pairs of American Oystercatchers inhabited the stretch of beach that I explored and each and every pair made me stop to digiscope them. One pair, perhaps inspired by my photography, decided to put on a show. Exhibitionist oystercatchers!

Fortunately for you, I have mastered the language, both verbal and non, of oystercatchers, and can share with you what is being communicated in this intimate moment. Enjoy!

Hey baby, have those oysters kicked in yet?

My mom always warned me about men that would walk all over me.

This is better than chocolate-covered oysters!

Are you done yet? Get off!

I could really go for a cigarette.

Wait! What about cuddling?

A fish may love a bird, but where would they live?

-Drew Barrymore

Bird Love Week is seven days of exploration of avian amore here on 10,000 Birds from April 22-28. We love birds, and the topic of birds loving other birds and in the process making more birds is a fascinating one we know you will enjoy. Mike, Corey, and a bevy of Beat Writers have been working on this one for awhile as the perfect expression of our love of all things avian. To see all of our Bird Love Week posts, just click here. But be warned – Bird Love Week is neither for the faint of heart nor for the permanently prudish – you may end up with images that you never imagined seared onto your brain.


Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy and Desmond Shearwater. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.