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Monday, November 26, 2007

Black Oyster Catcher, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska


The oystercatchers are a group of waders; they form the family Haematopodidae, which has a single genus, Haematopus. They are large obvious and noisy plover-like birds, with strong bills used for smashing or prising open molluscs.

In some species, the bill shape varies according to the diet. Those birds with blade-like bill tips prise open or smash mollusc shells, and those with pointed bill tips tend to probe for annelid worms.

They are found on coasts worldwide apart from the polar regions. They are all-black, black and white or brown and white in appearance.