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American Oystercatcher

Haematopus palliatus ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: HAEMATOPODIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A large, boldly patterned bird, the American Oystercatcher is conspicuous along ocean shores and salt marshes. True to its name, it is specialized in feeding on bivalves (oysters, clams, and mussels) and uses its brightly colored bill to get at them.

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Appearance

Shorebirds
Shorebirds
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Large shorebird.
  • Black head.
  • Large red bill.
  • Back brown.
  • Underside white.
  • Stout legs, dull pink.
  • Bold white stripe in wings and white rump visible in flight.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but bill duller and back with scaly light edges to feathers.

Range Map Help

American Oystercatcher Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • Black Skimmer found in similar habitats and has a large red bill, but it has tiny legs, long wings, an all black back, and a black tip to its oddly shaped bill.