VARIABLE OYSTERCATCHER Haematopus unicolor

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Endemic to New Zealand, this Oystercatcher is unique in that it occurs in both pied and all-black phases, plus various intermediates known as "smudgies". Most other parts of the world except Eurasia seem to have one pied and one all-black species, NZ has three pied (including the Chatham Oystercatcher); perhaps this is an evolutionary intermediate which will eventually be black only.

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