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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 ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Haematopodidae.
(Haematopus ostralegus), a bird of the family Charadriidae of the suborder Limicolae. The body length is about 40 cm; the bird weighs about 500 g. The underparts are white, and the rest of the plumage is black except for white bars on the wings. The bill and legs are red.
Oyster catchers are distributed in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa, and Australia. In the USSR they live from the Kola Peninsula to the Black Sea (and to the Ob’ River in the east), in Kazakhstan and Middle Asia (except in the Pamirs and Tien-Shan), and in the Far East (Kamchatka, Amur Region). They winter in Africa and southern Asia. Oyster catchers live along the shores of seas and lakes and on the banks of large rivers. They feed primarily on mollusks, shellfish, insects, and, more rarely, small fish. The birds nest on the ground in small hollows with a meager lining. There are two to four eggs to a clutch. Both parents incubate the eggs over a period of 24—27 days. In contrast to other Limicolae, oyster catchers bring food to their young.