Posted by: aboutbirds | September 24, 2009

The American Avocet

I am planning on doing an quick information series on the birds I have seen in the wild. I believe that it’s a good thing to know a little about a bird and its habitat instead of just writing it down in your field notebook. Yes, I have done that, but now I take a little more time to watch them. I recommend it, but its not necessarily needed, but it may make birding more enjoyable.

I’m starting off with the American Avocet, Recurvirostra americana. It is in the

Recurvirostridae family (I’m a science major, I have to add those).

Identification Features: I know a lot of people would use really technical terms to say where something is on the bird they’re talking about. I don’t. Not that I don’t know them (maybe not), its just that its not very conversational and its too harsh. Therefore, I’m going to be using things like “outer wings” not “primaries.” I think you’ll catch on. Anyway, the American Avocet is a pretty easily identifiable bird, its not those tiny things in the trees. Features include:

  • Black and white striped wings (a lot of dominant black on the forewing)
  • The belly is white
  • The long bill curves upward (male’s a bit flatter)
  • Grey legs
  • Breeding: rusty colored head and neck, white eye ring
  • Winter: greyish head and neck
  • Juvenile: pale rusty color on head and neck

Voice: loud, piercing “wheet” or “kleep”


Conservation Status: Least Concern by the IUCN

Now that you have more information go out and see those American Avocets.

‘Till next time – enjoy!


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