Oystercatchers are large, wading shorebirds with distinct, highly contrasting plumage and bright orange bills. They live along salt marshes, oceanic beaches, mud flats and dredge islands made of sand or gravel.
Oystercatchers are members of the sub-order Charadrii and are related to plovers, stilts and ibisbills. True to their name, oystercatchers mostly eat marine invertebrates, including oysters and other shellfish. They consume shellfish using one of two methods. Sometimes they stab fiercely into the shell of an open bivalve; other times they hammer the closed shell open by holding it in their bills and banging the bivalve against a hard object.