| Share

oyster catcher

oyster catcher, common name for members of the family Haematopodidae, ploverlike shorebirds, cosmopolitan in distribution. Their distinctive red bills are long, blunt, and flattened, efficient for catching and opening the oysters, mussels, and clams on which they feed. They are noisy birds, larger (21 in./52 cm) and more brightly marked than most other shorebirds. Species found in America are the black, European, and Frazer's oyster catchers of the genus Haematopus. Oyster catchers nest in shallow, debris-lined cavities in the sand. They lay two to four eggs per clutch, and both male and female share incubation duties. Oyster catchers are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Haematopodidae.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on oyster catcher from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Vertebrate Zoology

Premium Partner Content
HighBeam Research
Documents Images and Maps Reference
(from Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Newswires, Transcripts and Books)

Research our extensive archive of more than 80 million articles from 6,500 publications.

Additional search results provided by HighBeam Research, LLC. © Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring