Oyster-catcher Bill

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“Haematopus. Oyster-catcher. Bill peculiar - longer than tarsus, twice as long as head, constricted near the base, much compressed, almost like a knife-blade toward end, and truncate, something like a woodpecker’s (it is an efficient instrument for prying open shells of bivalve mollusks), hard, straight or or deflected sideways, highly colored. Nasal groove very short, broad, and shallow; grooving of lower mandible slight; interramal space very short, scarcely a third the length of the long ascending gonys. Nostrils remote from the feathers, linear, close to edge of bill.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Bird Anatomy


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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Small GIF

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