I snapped these photos of an American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus) last January. Sadly, they were lost in the shuffle until now (in my defense, I have over 3,000 photos from last year – and those are just the ones I deemed worthy of keeping).
As their common name implies, they munch on oysters as well as other bivalves. The key to success is to stab into a partially open mollusk and detach the muscle. A mistake could cost the bird its life if the shell closes around the bill and holds the bird under water.
The historic name of Sea Pie comes from their coastal residencies and piebald coloring. They are decidedly more colorful than their cousin, the Black Oystercatcher (found along the Pacific coast of North America).