Black Oystercatcher - Haematopus bachmani
While staying on the San Juan Islands, I saw quite a few Black Oystercatchers. They were easy to spot: they are about the size of ravens, and their bills and eyes are a striking tomato orange. They were also fun to watch as they foraged the many intertidal pools around the islands for mollusks. I often spotted them in pairs, and just recently found out that mating pairs bond for life. Black Oystercatchers belong to the Haematopodidae family which consists of all species of oystercatchers. The only two North American species are H. bachmani (named by J. Audubon for his friend Reverend John Bachman), and the American Oystercatcher - H. palliatus.