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Investigating the possible change in breeding strategy of African Black Oystercatchers

Researcher/s: Dane Paijmans, Phillip Hockey, Douglas Loewenthal,

Project Webpage


Species: African Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini)
Location: Coast from Saldanha to Bettys Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
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Running From: 2011 to 2013
Ring Type: Legring: colour combination
Colour Combination: 2 or 3 colours


In the past two decades, birds have been laying an increased proportion of three-egg clutches (of which there are only a few records prior to 1975): there are even at least three records of four-egg clutches in the last 15 years. This increased frequency of three-egg clutches represents a substantial change in life history for a strongly k-selected species.
The adults were ringed to identify nesting adults, and verify that polygynous trios were not present.

Papers Pubished from this project

Paijmans et al. 2015. Temporal and spatial differences in three-egg clutch frequency of the African Black Oystercatcher. Ostrich 86: 35-41.