Oysters? In Berkeley?

P1040199 (Custom)Oysters?  In Berkeley?  This bird appears to think so.  It’s a Black Oystercatcher, and it was surveying the waters this evening on the eastern edge of what’s become the protected Burrowing Owl area on the northeastern corner of the park.  Its long and tough bill can crack open the shells of oysters, mussels, clams, and barnacles, and it doesn’t mind a crab if one happens along.  The Black Oystercatcher is considered “a species of high conservation concern.”

I haven’t seen oysters in the North Basin (the estuary east of the park) but I’ve seen evidence of clams.  Found this broken clamshell on the perimeter path on the east side, next to the North Basin, in the morning of March 23.  This wouldn’t be the work of the Black Oystercatcher; it can wedge the shell open with its beak.  This is the signature of a sea gull.  They’re known to grab a shell and drop it on stones or pavement, and then pounce on the innards.  A seagull was at work here; perimeter path along North Basin

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