The status of Black Oystercatchers Haematopus bachmani on Middleton Island, Alaska, in 2016
120 – 124
1 August 17
Tim van Nus
Tim van Nus
Hoevebrink 18, 8034PZ Zwolle, The Netherlands.
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Since the first pair of Black Oystercatchers Haematopus bachmani was recorded breeding on Middleton Island, Alaska, in 1976, the island has become one of the species’ key nesting areas. I conducted a survey of the whole island in July 2016and found a total of 860 individuals, comprising 536 territorial birds (268 pairs) and 324 birds in non-breeding flocks. This is the first count to have exceeded 800 and shows that the island now supports about 8% of the most recent estimate of the global population of the species. The most recent increase can mostly be attributed to more non-breeders, not more breeding pairs. Future work should focus on monitoring the productivity of the breeding population. Conservation concerns include disturbance by people using all-terrain vehicles and depredation of eggs and young by Common Ravens Corvus corax and Glaucous-winged Gulls Larus glaucescens.