I explored the fitness implications of individual and sex differences in foraging strategy in the Eurasian oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus by monitoring the survival of individually colour-ringed birds of known sex and known feeding specialisation. Over the period of this study, adult female annual and overwinter survival was significantly lower than adult male survival. However, contrary to previous findings, no differences in survival were found between birds of different feeding specialisations. Lower female survival was not due to sex differences in feeding specialisation. Possible mechanisms for sex differences in survival and the survival implications of different feeding specialisations are discussed. I conclude that sex differences in survival may be due to differences in social status. I also suggest that worm/clam feeders and mussel-stabbers, feeding specialisations previously associated with lower survival rates, may have benefited more than mussel-hammerers from milder winter temperatures in recent years.