Tōrea pango/Variable Oystercatcher Haematopus unicolor
Endemic. At risk-recovering.
At the estuary it can be seen on the mudflats at low tide, usually near the tideline, and, at high tide, roosting on the sandspit visible from Dawick Street.
It is very similar to the Pied Oystercatcher in looks and behaviour. but the plumage is variable and may be entirely black, pied or intermediate between the two forms. The pied forms can be distinguished from the Pied Oystercatcher by the smudged boundary between the black and white plumage on the breast and the lack of a white tab in front of the wing.
Tōrea/South Island Pied Oystercatcher Haematopus finschi
Endemic. At risk-declining.
The Pied Oystercatcher breeds in the South Island but winters throughout the country. At the Estuary it can be seen on the mudflats at low tide, usually near the tide line, and roosting on the sandspit visible from Dawick Street at high tide and can be the commoner of the two species.