Definitions for oystercatcher
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
or oys′ter catch`er
any of several heavy-billed shorebirds comprising the family Haematopodidae, that have chiefly black-and-white plumage and feed largely on bivalve mollusks.
oystercatcher, oyster catcher(noun)
black-and-white shorebird with stout legs and bill; feed on oysters etc.
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.
Origin: From oyster + catcher
The oystercatchers are a group of waders forming the family Haematopodidae, which has a single genus, Haematopus. They are found on coasts worldwide apart from the polar regions and some tropical regions of Africa and South East Asia. The exception to this is the Eurasian Oystercatcher and the South Island Oystercatcher, both of which breed inland, far inland in some cases. In the past there has been a great deal of confusion as to the species limits, with discrete populations of all black oystercatchers being afforded specific status but pied oystercatchers being considered one single species. The name oystercatcher was coined by Mark Catesby in 1731 as a common name for the North American species H. palliatus, described as eating oysters. Yarrell in 1843 established this as the preferred term, replacing the older name Sea Pie.
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