Capturing a "lifer" is always a special moment and that moment came for me when we spotted a pair of American Oystercatchers on the bay side of Assateague Island. I had previously only seen these birds in photos and was surprised at their large size.
While the first bird stood near the waterline the second bird busied itself bathing.
When finished bathing and stood erect its leg bands were easily visible. American oystercatchers, while not listed as endangered are a species of concern in a number of states. Beach recreational use and development is listed as the biggest threats they face today.
The dark bill and dark eyes of this bird indicates that it is immature.