The strong, flattened bill allows the oystercatcher to prize open cockles, mussels and other bivalves that other waders cannot exploit. They also feed on worms, limpets and crabs (3). The nest is a scrape on the ground, after mid-April between 2 and 4 (but usually 3) cream eggs, spotted with brown are laid (4). Both sexes share the duty of incubation, which takes 24-27 days (4). The young are very well camouflaged, and they leave the nest after about a day. Both the male and the female care for the young until they become independent at between 34 and 37 days (4). Oystercatcher pairs usually produce just one brood a year, although if the brood is lost for some reason, a replacement brood may be produced (4).