Family Oystercatchers (Haematopodidae)

Least Concern

Magellanic Oystercatcher (Haematopus leucopodus)


French: Huîtrier de Garnot German: Magellanausternfischer Spanish: Ostrero magallánico

Haematopus leucopodus


, 1826,

Falkland Islands


Distinctive species; taxonomic affiliations uncertain, as both adults and chicks show mixture of features which otherwise characterize taxa of Old World, rather than those of New World. Has hybridized with H. ater#R. Monotypic.


SC Chile (Chiloé I) and SC Argentina (Chubut) S to Cape Horn; Falkland Is. Breeders move to the coast in winter.

Descriptive notes

42–46 cm; male 585–610 g, female 585–700 g. Unique amongst oystercatchers in having almost entirely white secondaries (extending just onto innermost... read more


Typical of oystercatchers, the display call is a repeated and piping “pee-pee”, while... read more


Occurs on beaches, inland and upland grasslands and the margins of freshwater pools. Recorded... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on mussels, limpets and crabs on rocky shores, marine polychaetes on coastal soft substrates. At inland sites eats mainly earthworms... read more


Laying starts in Oct–Nov in Tierra del Fuego and main laying season is late Sept to late Oct (overall mid Sept–mid Dec) in the... read more


Seasonal movement from inland breeding grounds to the coast. Breeders from extreme S of range move... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally reckoned to be common to abundant, especially in southern parts of range. Estimated population in the Falklands in 1980s... read more

Recommended citation

Hockey, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). Magellanic Oystercatcher (Haematopus leucopodus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 14 November 2018).