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American Avocet Recurvirostra americana



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Photos from this Account

Breeding adult

Long-legged shorebird with a long, upturned bill. Breeding birds have a rusty head and neck and a black-and-white body.

Nonbreeding adult/immature

Tall shorebird with an upturned bill. Nonbreeding birds have a grayish white head.

Breeding adult

In flight, note black patch on the back.

Breeding adult

Swings its long upturned bill through shallow water to catch small invertebrates.

Breeding adult

Tall and graceful shorebird with a striking black-and-white body, a rusty head and neck, and an upturned bill. Females tend to have more sharply curved bills than males.


Young leave the nest within 24 hours. Juveniles are downy with a mottled back, gaining adultlike plumage as they age. Juveniles have a straighter bill than adults.

Breeding adult

Often wades while foraging but also swims. Males tend to have less curve in the bill than females.

Breeding adult

Found in shallow fresh and saltwater wetlands.

Recommended Citation

American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: