A pair of American oystercatchers has been spotted recently in the area near the airport known to the Island Sentinels as the Sanctuary of Sands. They return to the Sanctuary almost every day. Above is a watercolor illustration of one of these birds by Sentinel Alexa Rosenberg.

As their name suggests, the diet of an oystercatcher consists mainly of oysters, mussels and other bivalves. Recognizable by its black head, white and brown plumage, and bright red beak, the oystercatcher is about the size of a crow. These birds are uncommon on Fishers Island and are found only along the coast so keep your eyes peeled!

Audubon has identified the American oystercatcher, which is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, as a climate-threatened bird. Its population totals a mere 11,000 birds on the East Coast.

Alexa Rosenberg, Fishers Island Sentinel