Camp Umoja’s Environmental Rangers regularly engage in observational wildlife tracking at Mandahl Bay. These studies tell us how many of a species are in the area during the different seasons.
By setting up at a distance from the wildlife we observe, we reduce the chances of human presence interrupting natural wildlife behavior. To film the activity of the American Oystercatcher ( Haematopus palliatus), we set up behind the shrub and tree line at a minimum of a hundred feet away from them. They are very wary of human presence and will fly away quickly at any approach.
Various birding sites report the bird’s worldwide population to be less than 50,000 to 74,000 breeding individuals.
In this video, you will see the American Oystercatcher’s courtship behavior and hear its mating cry. You will also watch the birds fish for mollusks and consume a sea urchin.
American Oystercatchers are both resident (live on St. Thomas year-round) and migratory (arriving from the eastern seaboards of the Americas).
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