oystercatcher

/oy"steuhr kach'euhr/, n.
any of several long-billed wading birds of the genus Haematopus that have chiefly black-and-white plumage and that feed on oysters, clams, mussels, etc.
Also, oyster catcher.
[1725-35, Amer.; OYSTER + CATCHER]

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Any of about seven species (genus Haematopus, family Haematopodidae) of stout-bodied shorebirds inhabiting temperate and tropical seacoasts and inland waters in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Western Hemisphere, and Australia.

Oystercatchers are 16–20 in. (40–50 cm) long, with thick pinkish legs; long pointed wings; and a long, flattened, wedge-shaped, orange-red bill. Their plumage varies from black-and-white, including a bold white wing patch, to entirely black. They attack mollusks as the tide ebbs, when the shells are exposed and still partially open.

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bird
 any of several shorebirds, notable for their long, flattened, orange-red bills, constituting the genus Haematopus, family Haematopodidae. Found in temperate to tropical parts of the world, oystercatchers are stout-bodied birds measuring 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 inches) long, with thick, pinkish legs; long, pointed wings; and a long, wedge-shaped bill. Their plumage varies from black and white, including a bold white wing patch, to entirely black.

      Oystercatchers feed largely on mollusks (such as oysters, clams, and mussels), attacking them as the tide ebbs, when their shells are exposed and still partially open. These birds nest on the ground, usually laying their two to four eggs in the sand.

      There are about seven species. Among them is the European oystercatcher (H. ostralegus), of Europe, Asia, and Africa, which is black above and white beneath. The American oystercatcher (H. palliatus), of coastal regions in the Western Hemisphere, is dark above, with a black head and neck, and white below. The black oystercatcher (H. bachmani), of western North America, and the sooty oystercatcher (H. fuliginosus), of Australia, are dark except for the pinkish legs.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • oystercatcher — oystercatcher, oyster catcher oyster catcher . (Zo[ o]l.), Any one of several species of wading birds of the genus {H[ae]matopus} having stout legs and bill and mostly black and white plumage, which frequent seashores and feed upon oysters and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oystercatcher — ► NOUN ▪ a wading bird with black or black and white plumage and a strong orange red bill, feeding chiefly on shellfish …   English terms dictionary

  • oystercatcher — ☆ oystercatcher [ois′tər kach΄ər ] n. any of a family (Haematopodidae) of large, black and white shorebirds with a strong, reddish, wedge shaped beak and stout legs, feeding chiefly on bivalve mollusks; esp., an American species (Haematopus… …   English World dictionary

  • Oystercatcher — Oystercatchers Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris) Scientific classification Kingdom …   Wikipedia

  • oystercatcher — UK [ˈɔɪstə(r)ˌkætʃə(r)] / US [ˈɔɪstərˌkætʃər] noun [countable] Word forms oystercatcher : singular oystercatcher plural oystercatchers a large bird that lives near the sea and eats shellfish …   English dictionary

  • oystercatcher — [[t]ɔ͟ɪstə(r)kætʃə(r)[/t]] oystercatchers N COUNT An oystercatcher is a black and white bird with a long red beak. It lives near the sea and eats small shellfish …   English dictionary

  • oystercatcher — /ˈɔɪstəkætʃə / (say oystuhkachuh) noun any of several long billed, maritime wading birds constituting the genus Haematopus, with a plumage chiefly of black and white, as the pied oystercatcher, H. longirostris, of Eurasia, southern Africa and… …   Australian English dictionary

  • Oystercatcher — jūršarkė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Haematopus ostralegus angl. Oystercatcher vok. Austernfischer …   Paukščių anatomijos terminai

  • oystercatcher — noun Date: 1731 any of a family (Haematopodidae containing a single genus Haematopus) of wading birds that have stout legs, a heavy wedge shaped bill, and often black and white plumage …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • oystercatcher — noun /ˈɔɪstə.ˌkætʃə/lang=en Any of several black or pied coastal wading birds in the genus Haematopus that have a long red or orange bill and feed on shellfish …   Wiktionary

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