AMERICAN AVOCET


Recurvirostra americana


Description:

This bird feeds by sweeping its bill from side-to-side along the waters surface to collect small crustaceans and insects. Sometimes they submerge their entire head while searching for food. Often they feed in flocks, with the entire group moving forward as though they were marching.


Appearance:

A large slender shorebird. Long thin black upward curved bill. Black wings with one or two white stripes. White body. Rust colored head and neck in Summer, light gray in winter. Sexes similiar. 16 to 20 inches in length.


Habitat:

Both fresh and salt water marshes.


Nesting:

4 olive-buff eggs with brown and black spots. They have a 22-29 day incubation period. Fledging occurs 28-35 days after hatching. The nest consists of a grass lined depression in sand or mud. Avocets breed in loose colonies of 10-12 birds.


Observed Locations:

  • South Bay (end of 7th St), Imperial Beach
  • San Elijo Lagoon, Cardiff-by-the-Sea





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