Scientific name:

Haematopus ostralegus

(Linnaeus 1758 ‘Haematopus Ostralegus’ [sic])
Haematopus – Latin; haematopus bloodfoot – from the Greek; haima blood; pous foot.
ostralegus – Latin; ostrea oyster; legere to gather.


Eurasian Oystercatcher


Eurasian Oystercatcher Fact File

Distribution: North-west, central and eastern Europe, eastern Asia; winters Africa to India and east Asia.

Conservation Status: Near Threatened: (UK Amber listed)

Subspecies: Three

  • H. o. ostralegus: (Linnaeus 1758) Latin; ostrea oyster; legere to gather – Iceland, Scandinavia east to the river Pechora and south through the British Isles to north-western France, with isolated populations in the Mediterranean from north-eastern Spain and southern France to Turkey; winters south to west Africa.
  • H. o. longipes: (Buturlin, 1910) Latin; longipes long-toed (longus long pes foot) – west & north-central Russia (mouth of river Ob) south to Black, Caspian and Aral Seas and lake Balkhash, and east to western Siberia; winters on coast from east Africa through Arabia to India.
  • H. o. osculans: (Swinhoe, 1871) Latin osculari to adhere closely, kiss (os mouth) – coastal north-erastern Russia (Kamchatka, Amurland and Ussuriland) through Manchuria to western part of North Korea and Hebei (north-east China), and possibly in Kuril Island; winters in eastern China south to Guangdong.

Current conservation efforts





With thanks to the following photographers: Allan Archer