The Specialist: The Oystercatcher
A loud inhabitant of tidepools and rocky shores, Oystercatchers don’t actually eat oysters, which tend to live in protected bays. They pick mussels, limpets, snails, and chitons off the rocks in tidepools, an inch from the pounding surf. Their bright red bill is the perfect tool for prying these creatures off of the rocks. Because they eat a lot of creatures that feed out of the water column, they’re an indicator for how healthy tidepools are—and counting, visible, loud oystercatchers is a lot easier than counting snails.