American Avocet

(Recurvirostra americana)

Conservation Status
American Avocet
Photo by Andy Witchger
  IUCN Red List

LC - Least Concern


N5B, N5N - Secure Breeding and Nonbreeding


not listed






17 to 18 in length

31 wingspan




Similar Species


Lakeshores, mudflats




Mid-April to mid-May and July to October












Uncommon to rare migrant, intermittent breeder




The Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union All Seasons Species Occurrence Map

  Class Aves (birds)  


Charadriiformes (shorebirds and allies)  


Recurvirostridae (avocets and stilts)  


Recurvirostra (avocets)  














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Andy Witchger

    American Avocet      







American Avocet
Allen Chartier

  American Avocet  

American Avocet
Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren

  American Avocet  

American Avocet
JMC Nature Photos

  American Avocet  



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Other Videos
  American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana), Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, Northeast Montana
Robert Mutch

Uploaded on Jun 19, 2011

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[taxonomy:binomial=Recurvirostra americana]

  Avoceta Americana - Recurvirostra americana by trucha1618xx
trucha 1.618: PEACE IN THE WORLD

Published on May 7, 2013

Aves de México

2013.05.01 Avoceta americana, también llamada piquicurva, emitiendo su llamado, en una charca en el Parque Ecológico de Xochimilco, en la Ciudad de México.

La avoceta americana (Recurvirostra americana) es una especie de ave caradriforme de la familia Recurvirostridae.3 No se reconocen subespecies. Como todos los miembros de su género, presenta el pico encorvado hacia arriba.

Sus hábitats de cría son pantanos, estanques de pradera, y lagunas o lagos poco profundos en el medio-oeste y en la costa del Pacífico de América del Norte. Anida en la tierra abierta, a menudo en grupos pequeños, a veces con otras aves zancudas.

Son aves migratorias y la mayor parte del invierno lo pasan en las costas pacífica y atlántica del sur de México y los Estados Unidos.

Estos pájaros encuentran su alimento en el agua poco profunda o en el barro o lodo. Comen principalmente crustáceos e insectos.

The American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) is a large wader in the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae. This avocet has long, thin, gray legs, giving it its colloquial name, "blue shanks". The plumage is black and white on the back with white on the underbelly. The neck and head are cinnamon colored in the summer and gray in the winter. The long, thin bill is upturned at the end. The adult bird measures 40--51 cm (16--20 in) in length, 68--76 cm (27--30 in) and 275--420 g (9.7--15 oz) in weight.

The breeding habitat is marshes, beaches, prairie ponds, and shallow lakes in the mid-west and on the Pacific coast of North America. American avocets form breeding colonies numbering dozens of pairs. When breeding is over the birds gather in large flocks, sometimes including hundreds of birds. Nesting occurs near water, usually on small islands or boggy shorelines where access by predators is difficult. The female lays four eggs in a saucer-shaped nest, and both sexes take turns incubating them. Upon hatching, the chicks feed themselves; they are never fed by their parents.[4]

This species is migratory, and mostly winters on the southern Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Mexico and the United States.

The American Avocet forages in shallow water or on mud flats, often sweeping its bill from side to side in water as it seeks its crustacean and insect prey.

by trucha1618xx
Camara Canon VIXIA HF R32

  American Avocet (Recurvirostridae: Recurvirostra americana) Foraging
Carl Barrentine

Uploaded on Apr 16, 2010

Migrant American Avocets forage in shallow water at the Kellys Slough NWR, North Dakota (16 April 2010).

  American Avocet

Uploaded on Apr 20, 2009

American Avocet,Tulare county Ca.

  American Avocet Courtship

Published on Feb 14, 2014

American Avocets dance near Vegreville, Alberta, Canada.




Visitor Sightings

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  Andy Witchger

Location: Hennepin - MRVNWR

American Avocet  






Created: 8/4/2016

Last Updated:

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