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There are two types of the native species of oystercatchers found in North America. The American Oystercatcher has the largest range and is found along the Atlantic coast of the USA, through the Gulf of Mexico and along the extreme southern coast of California into Mexico. The Black Oystercatcher is seen from Alaska, through the Canadian coastlines and down into California along the Pacific Ocean. On rare occasions, there have been sightings of the vagrant species called the European Oystercatcher, along the northern and central coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean.
Oystercatchers are sturdy looking shorebirds and both species have similarities, such as their large reddish-orange bills, red-ringed yellow eyes and their yellow legs. The loud call of the birds can be heard while the birds are searching through the weed beds looking for their food.