Carpinteria Bluffs this morning

Rebecca Coulter

A gorgeous day out on the Bluffs this morning. My birding class had 40 species, including two Black Oystercatchers at the seal colony in elaborate and noisy courtship displays. They called and bowed, tails raised, moving around each other as they put on quite a show. I have never seen this before, so dug into Cornell’s Birds of the World a little to learn more. Pairs remain bonded throughout the year, so it’s possible these two were indeed preparing for the breeding season. Lehman indicates that they have not been recorded breeding very far south of Pt. Conception—it would be interesting to see how long they linger at this location. We had a good mix of other expected species; list here: (The pupping season at the seal colony is fully underway, with pups of all ages on the beach with the females, including some this morning with umbilical cords still attached.)

Rebecca Coulter

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