Oystercatchers are very opportunistic. Originally they were coastal birds, breeding on salt marshes. But with increasing agricultural intensification many started breeding inland where plenty of food was available. Now that agricultural areas have become monocultures, Oystercatcher are making the bold move into cities. There they use flat roofs to make their nests. No foxes that steal their eggs and plenty of food available in the well maintained lawns seem to serve them well. But there are risks too: cats chasing the chicks, traffic, dehydration on roofs without shelter, drain pipes leading directly from the roof into the sewage system and not to forget the jump down from the roof.
To get a better insight in this system I started a citizen science project with an enthusiastic team. Via our website we encourage people to share information about their roof breeding oystercatchers. Meanwhile we give information and tips to improve the situation to increase breeding results. The collected data will be used for scientific research and in this way we hope to prevent the Oystercatchers from extinction.
May 07, 2019