Highly fertile oystercatcher
Here is a picture of the rare five egg oystercatcher nest. As can be seen the nest itself is a simple affair. Photo/Jason Ívarsson
Oystercatchers ( Haematopus ostralegus) usually lay two to four eggs. Thus it was a big surprise for the brothers Markús and Jason Ívarsson, when they found a oystercatcher nest on Markús’s farm in Flóahreppur, where oystercatchers have long been nesting at this time of year.
Oystercatcher is one of the largest water birds to breed in Iceland. It is a noisy, social bird, mostly migratory, with some 5,000 to 10,000 birds wintering on the coast of Iceland. Oystercatchers breed widely in various locations, mainly in sand and gravel but also in rivers and lakes. Their breeding season begins in March and ends in August and is currently in full swing.
Never seen anything like it
Markús Ívarsson, a farmer at Vorsabæjarhóll in Flóahreppur and a bird-lover, says that the oystercatcher has been a frequent visitor to his farm for years. He says he has never seen a nest with five eggs before, so the find is bound to be something remarkable. Ívarsson adds that several nests with four eggs were discovered a few years ago, although it is most common to have two or three eggs per nest.
According to Ívarsson, oystercatchers often breed in similar locations year after year, although their nest may be difficult to find. Ívarsson came upon the five egg nest by pure chance, when he looked out of his window one day. He decided to check it out with his brother Jason and then they saw this unexpected sight. Ívarsson intends to keep an eye on the developments of this feathered and social tenant in the near future.