Captain EO's Oystercatcher Scorecard
(an alternative to the Jehl autocracy)
A points-based scale, more progressive than Jehl's, that will allow you to determine whether your oystercatcher is a hybrid or a true red-blooded American.
WING STRIPE - How extensive is the bird's wing stripe?
 Completely lacking, as in bachmani
 White confined to inner half of the secondaries
 White extends to the end of outer secondaries
 White present on some or all of primaries 1-5
 White present on at least one of primaries 6-10
UPPER TAIL COVERTS - What colors are the tail coverts?
 Completely black
 Black with some minor white stippling
 Piebald (half-black, half-white, or perhaps the inverse)
 White with some black markings
 Painfully white
SIZE - What size is the bird, approximately?
 Bigger than a breadbox
 Could be stuffed into a breadbox if both legs are broken
 Fits comfortably within the confines of a breadbox
 Might get lost if it wanders into a breadbox
 What's a breadbox? This is the 21st century!
MIEN - Which of the following adjectives apply to the bird?
 Hale and hardy
 Hot and horny
 Haggard and harried
 Hammered and hangdog
 Hasidic and hirsute
TASTE - How do you prepare Oystercatcher a la King?
 With browned butter and a pinch of paprika
 With saffron, fennel, and black truffle oil
 With egg whites and Meyer lemon zest
 With pickled beets and boiled cabbage
 I'm a vegetarian and could never eat such a noble creature!
Final Question - Do you need this bird for your life/state/county/other list?
If YES, then range of 0 to 20 = pure American Oystercatcher.
Congrats, you can count this bird (99.9% of everyone else who "needs it" sure does)!
If NO, then range of 0 to 20 = hybrid oystercatcher.
Your bird is clearly a hybrid, much like 99.9% of the rest of such birds.
Who was Captain EO?
Captain EO was a talented ship captain, originally from Gary, Indiana, who moved to California and cruised the channel islands of Southern California and the coastline of Baja California from 1986 until his untimely death in 2009. During this time, he studied numerous oystercatchers, including pure frazeri and hybrids. This scorecard, a revision of the Jehl Scale, constitutes the fruits of his observation.
Captain EO's Oystercatcher Scorecard now features corporate sponsorship, and is brought to you by Arizona Iced Tea, Oldsmobile, the letters L and Q, and the number 13.
Hybrids . . . making even MORE hybrids. The scourge continues!