oystercatcher

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oys·ter·catch·er

noun \-ˌka-chər, -ˌke-\

Definition of OYSTERCATCHER

:  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

Illustration of OYSTERCATCHER

First Known Use of OYSTERCATCHER

1731

oystercatcher

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

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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