- Recurvirostra americana
Length 41-51 cm (16-20 in), wingspan 80 cm, weight 300-460 g
- Large wader
- Slender, upturned black bill
- Long, gray legs
- Upperparts and wings patterned in black and white
- Underparts white
- Head and neck rust-colored in summer, pale gray in winter
Breeds from interior Washington, Saskatchewan, and Minnesota south to Central Mexico. Winters on West Coast of USA north to California, on Gulf Coast, in Florida, southern Mexico, and Cuba. Also breeds irregularly on the Atlantic Coast of USA.
Regular visitor on Atlantic Coast in winter and on passage (largest numbers at Pea Island NWR on the Outer Banks, North Carolina, and Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Delaware) and the Great Lakes on fall passage.
Irregular winter visitor to northern Central America.
This is a monotypic species.
Freshwater marshes and shallow marshy lakes; breeds locally in salt or brackish marshes. Many move to the coasts in winter.
Their diet consists mostly of aquatic invertebrates, insects, larvae, molluscs and crustaceans etc.
The clutch consists of 4 olive-buff eggs, spotted with brown and black, in a shallow depression sparsely lined with grass on a beach or mudflat.
The often nest in loose colonies.
A loud repeated wheep.
Click on photo for larger image
Photo by Ron Conley
Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, Huntington Beach, California, USA, February 2005
Photo by bobsofpa
Gilbert Riparian Preserve, Arizona, USA, May 2016
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2015. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2015, with updates to August 2015. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2015)
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) American Avocet. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 6 June 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/American_Avocet
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