OYSTER-CATCHER, a bird's name which does not seem to occur in books until 1731, when M.
The Oyster-catcher of Europe is the Haematopus 2 ostralegus or Linnaeus, belonging to the group now called Limicolae, and is generally included in the family Charadriidae; though some writers have placed it in one of its own, Haematopodidae, chiefly on account of its peculiar bill - a long thin wedge, ending in a vertical edge.
In its strongly-contrasted plumage of black and white, with a coral-coloured bill, the Oyster-catcher is one of the most conspicuous birds of the European coasts, and in many parts is still very common.
The Oyster-catcher is not highly esteemed as a bird for the table.
longirostris, with a very long bill as its name intimates, and no white on its 1 It seems, however, very possible, judging from its equivalents in other European languages, such as the Frisian Oestervisscher, the German Augsterman, Austernfischer, and the like, that the name "Oyster-catcher" may have been not a colonial invention but indigenous to the mother-country, though it had not found its way into print before.
China, Japan and possibly eastern Asia in general have an Oyster-catcher which seems to be intermediate between the last and the first.
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