The American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus), occasionally called the American Pied Oystercatcher, is a member of family Haematopodidae. The bird has distinctive black and white plumage and a long, bright orange beak. The head and breast are black and the back, wings and tail brown. The underparts are white, as are feathers on the inner part of the wing which become visible during flight. The irises are yellow, and the eyes have orange orbital rings. The legs are pink. Adults are between 42–52 cm (17–20 in) in length. [Wikipedia]
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. [All About Birds]
American Oystercatcher Facts [All About Birds]
- Two races of American Oystercatcher breed in North America: the eastern race along the Atlantic coast, and a second race along the Pacific coast from northwestern Baja California southward. North of Baja California, the Black Oystercatcher takes over.
- The oldest American Oystercatcher was at least 23 years, 10 months old.