Photo courtesy of Clare Simm
The Oystercatcher or the Orange Billed Bird
When it comes to local wildlife, New Zealand is full of them. There are thousands of different bird species, marine life, and beautiful undomesticated animals. These animals will help you learn the importance of taking care of Mother Nature because it is home to thousands, if not millions, of animals. New Zealand makes sure that they adhere to their laws when it comes to taking care of the environment.
Birds are one of the local wildlife in New Zealand, which are loved by the locals and tourists. Many of these birds can be spotted all around New Zealand. Some birds can only be located if you visit a different part of New Zealand. One such bird is called the Variable Oystercatcher or Tōrea. They are heavily-built shorebirds and can be found on most of New Zealand's coastline. They commonly breed on sandy beaches, sand spits, and dunes.
The oystercatchers are very vocal birds, and they pipe loudly during territorial interactions or when they are alarmed. Adult oystercatchers have black upperparts while their underparts can vary from black to white. All-black birds increase as you head to the south of New Zealand. Their bills are bright orange, with the females having longer bills, and they have stout coral-pink legs. They have red irises and an orange eye-ring. There is a term called pied morph, which is a form of oystercatcher that has both dark and light colors. It can sometimes be confused with the South Island pied oystercatcher.
What do Oystercatchers eat?
The oystercatcher's diet consists of a wide variety of coastal invertebrates like mollusks and crustaceans. They can open these by pushing their bill in between the shells and twisting, or by hammering. They occasionally eat small fishes and terrestrial invertebrates like earthworms.
During one of our nature walks, you can easily spot these magnificent birds along the shorelines of North Island. A lot of our guests love spotting oystercatchers because of their bright orange bills and their eye-rings. If you are not familiar with these birds, our crew will help you look for them. They are recovering species of birds so there are fairly a lot of them.
Other things to do in the Bay of Islands
Aside from the usual activities that our crew has prepared for you, we also have nature walks and marine life spotting. Our guests love nature walks because they get to learn fun facts and random facts that can enhance one's knowledge about the Bay of Islands. There are millions of things to do in New Zealand, one of those is cruising around North Island. Especially, the Bay of Islands.
Catch these beautiful birds by joining our cruise and do not forget to bring your family and friends along. Fun activities like kayaking and paddle boarding await! If you are interested in knowing more about The Rock Cruises
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