Story Challenge: P is for Pied Oystercatchers

We live near a remote beach on the south coast of NSW, Australia. One of our precious visitors is the Pied Oystercatcher, a large attractive black and white shore bird with a stunning red bill. Before Europeans came to Australia these birds were plentiful, protected by the moiety system of totems followed by the aboriginal people. Members of each skin group must always protect and never eat their totem birds and animals. However since the spread of Europeans along the coast the Pied Oystercatcher has lost habitat, and is threatened by development, and dogs, cats, and foxes. It is now listed as an endangered species.

Pied Oystercatcher at Mullimburra

Oystercatchers feed on bivalve molluscs, the ones we call Pippies. I love to see the open shells along the beach, where the bird has used its long beak to dig up the mollusc, prise the shell open and feed on the juicy creature. There are only 50 breeding pairs of Pied Oystercatchers on the South Coast now, and few safe breeding spots. They cant breed on our beach because people disregard the no dogs sign, and even this afternoon I saw a young kelpie with some teenagers chasing a pair away from the eastern end of the beach. Even if dogs were kept away there are always foxes and feral cats to steal the chicks. Perhaps there is more we could do here to help them survive, maybe I should contact National Parks and get involved?

Join in the P story challenge with Frizztext, add your story to the mix!

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Story Challenge: P is for Pied Oystercatchers

  1. so the Pied Oystercatchers have not an easy way without any sorrows:
    “Even if dogs were kept away there are always foxes and feral cats to steal the chicks…”
    Sometimes I feel like one of the Pied Oystercatchers …

  2. Pingback: Story Challenge: Letter “P” for Purple | Doing the Write Thing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s