• BirdForum is the net's largest birding community dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE!

    Register for an account to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

American Avocet - BirdForum Opus

Breeding plumage
Photo by mrcolin2u
San Elijo Lagoon, San Diego County, California, USA, April 2008
Recurvirostra americana

Identification

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

Distribution

Winter plumage
Photo by mw_aurora
Rowley, Massachusetts, November 2006

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.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

Habitat

Photo by bobmoose
Kelowna, British Columbia, May 2014

Freshwater marshes and shallow marshy lakes; breeds locally in salt or brackish marshes. Many move to the coasts in winter.

Behavior

Winter Plumage
Photo © by jmorlan
Millbrae, California, USA, 13 January 2021

Diet

Their diet consists mostly of aquatic invertebrates, insects, larvae, molluscs and crustaceans etc.

Breeding

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.

Vocalization

A loud repeated wheep.

Gallery

Click on photo for larger image

References

  1. 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/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2015)

Recommended Citation

External Links

Top