American Avocet 9/29/10

Avocets are a good sized wading shorebird at 18 inches with very long legs like their close cousins the stilts. All 4 avocet species around the globe are mostly black and white and have a strongly upturned bills that they sweep from side to side while foraging for invertebrates in the shallows of prairie ponds and marshes. American Avocets are found in the midwest and west coast, but a few like this one show up in New England from time to time during migration. In breeding plumage their heads and long necks are cinnamon-colored, which in the fall becomes a pale grey. This one is a female which sports a sharper upturn at the end of the bill than males where the curve is more gradual and somewhat straighter. Fetched in Sanford, Maine.

Leave a Comment