The two oystercatcher chicks who have made Mount Main Beach home, continue to grow well and are expected to spread their wings in a few short weeks.

Two oystercatchers, nicknamed Harry and Sophie by locals, laid two eggs in the centre of the Bay's busiest beach late last year.

The chicks are now mobile and covered in grey fluff.

Department of Conservation biodiversity ranger Karl McCarthy said it was great to see the public respecting the bird's space.


Department of Conservation community ranger Kate Miller said the young birds should be approaching fledgling age but unlike other shore birds, oystercatchers fed their young.

She expected the young birds to be hiding away in sheltered locations with Harry and Sophie returning periodically to feed their young.

As the chicks continued to grow they would gain more independence and start to source their own food.

"It's great to see successful nest as breeding success is usually low often due to human disturbance, predators or nest getting washed away in high tides."

Ms Miller said the Department of Conservation was thrilled the birds were still alive and thanked the local community who had taken on the role of protecting them.

For the oystercatcher chicks, there are still a few challenging weeks ahead before they're able to leave the nest permanently. People need to still maintain their distance and follow the "no dogs" rule for the Mount Main beach.

The baby oystercatchers are doing well. Photo/John Borren
The baby oystercatchers are doing well. Photo/John Borren


The oystercatcher is a native bird found throughout New Zealand on sandy beaches and dunes. Some can live up to 30 years of age.


The oystercatcher is one of the many native shorebirds found in the Bay of Plenty. While on the beach this summer, you might be sharing it with a bar-tailed godwit, dotterel or reef heron, all of which are endangered or declining.