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

Examples of oystercatcher in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Plum Island is home to 227 species of birds, including piping plovers, roseate terns, Northern harriers, ospreys and American oystercatchers, according to Save the Sound’s Envision Plum Island Report. Ed Stannard, Hartford Courant, 19 June 2024 Their bleating cry is as much the music of these green mountains as the shrill call of the oystercatchers, the Faroes' noisy national bird. Tim Ecott, Condé Nast Traveler, 3 May 2023 The trip provided views of the magnificent Chincoteague ponies in a meadow, blue herons soaring above, white egrets keeping a wary eye and oystercatchers poking the sand with their long bills. Joe Heim, Washington Post, 20 Oct. 2023 Single, very early common terns were reported in Chatham and Mashpee, and the first American oystercatcher was reported from North Falmouth. BostonGlobe.com, 22 Mar. 2023 Martha’s Vineyard: A Townsend’s solitaire in the vicinity of the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest headquarters, a great egret at Eel Pond in Edgartown, an American oystercatcher at Joseph Sylvia State Beach, and three common ravens at the Wasque Point Wildlife Management Area. Isabela Rocha, BostonGlobe.com, 4 Mar. 2023 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

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'oystercatcher.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 12 Jul. 2024.

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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