The American oystercatcher is a large shorebird that is marked by its black and white body and a long, thick orange beak. Its head and breast are black in color and the back, wings, and tail are greyish-black. The underparts are white, as are feathers on the inner part of the wing which become visible during flight. The irises of this bird are yellow and the eyes have orange orbital rings. The legs are long and pink in color. It prefers sandy areas, and it is a common sight in the beaches of Maldonado and Rocha departments, in the southeast of Uruguay, where they feed mainly on shellfish and crabs.