oys·​ter·​catch·​er ˈȯi-stər-ˌka-chər How to pronounce oystercatcher (audio)
: 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

Illustration of oystercatcher

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Birds that use the island as a stopover include the American oystercatcher, for which the Boston Harbor Islands are one of their northernmost breeding sites, and the islands host several colonial nesting species, such as the least tern. Cheryl Maguire, Washington Post, 22 July 2022 In Fairhaven, there were reports of a sora, two stilt sandpipers, and an American oystercatcher, and in Dartmouth, a yellow-throated warbler was discovered on private property. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Oct. 2021 As the project expanded, so did public interest, with colorful murals of the American oystercatcher, bald eagles and cerulean warblers embellishing public spaces throughout Upper Manhattan, from Hamilton Heights to Harlem. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, 20 Aug. 2021 For birds in decline — such as the black oystercatcher — that can have consequences. oregonlive, 2 July 2021 This young oystercatcher is old enough to forage but still relies on its parents for food because its beak hasn't developed the strength to open the shells of mollusks and crustaceans. Cecilia Rodriguez, Forbes, 4 Apr. 2021 Newly arriving local nesting birds included an American oystercatcher seen in Orleans, a piping plover in Falmouth, 3 tree swallows in Hyannis, and ospreys in a few places. BostonGlobe.com, 28 Mar. 2021 Recent bird sightings as reported to the Mass Audubon Society: Greater Boston: Three American oystercatchers were seen flying from Winthrop toward Logan Airport. BostonGlobe.com, 11 Jan. 2020 In addition, oystercatchers were also recorded on islands along the Connecticut shore near Greenwich, Norwalk and Westbrook. Gregory B. Hladky, courant.com, 19 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'oystercatcher.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1731, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of oystercatcher was in 1731

Dictionary Entries Near oystercatcher

Cite this Entry

“Oystercatcher.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/oystercatcher. Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition

oyster catcher

: any of several wading birds with stout legs, a heavy wedge-shaped bill, and often black and white plumage

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