Scientific name:

Haematopus fuliginosus

(Gould 1845)
Haematopus – Latin; haematopus bloodfoot – from the Greek; haima blood; pous foot.
fuliginosus– Late Latin; fuliginosus sooty derived from Latin fuligo, fuliginis soot.

Sooty Oystercatcher


Sooty Oystercatcher Fact File

Distribution: Coastal Australia

Conservation Status: Least Concern

Subspecies: Two

H. f. fuliginosus: (Gould 1845) Late Latin; fuliginosus sooty derived from Latin fuligo, fuliginis soot – Southern Australian coasts from Abrolhos Islands in Western Australia, south and east to south-east Queensland and Tasmania.
H. f. opthalmicus: (Castelnau & Ramsay 1877) Northern Australian coasts from Shark Bay, western Australia, north and east and down east coast as far as south-east Queensland.

Current conservation efforts

Together with the Pied Oystercatcher, Beach Stone-curlew, Red-capped Plover and Hooded Plover, the Sooty Oystercatcher is protected as part of BirdLife Australia’s “Beach-nesting Birds project”. This long running project was established in 2006 to:

  • Raise awareness among beach users about beach-nesting birds
  • Train local volunteers to monitor beach-nesting birds, identify threats and improve management
  • Protect eggs and chicks through temporary fencing, signage, artificial shelters
  • Research new ways of protecting birds and improving breeding success

Read more about how this excellent incentive is helping these beach-nesting birds:


Pied Oystercatcher protected by Birdlife Australia




All photographs taken by Elis Simpson – Wader Quest