avocet

(redirected from Avocets)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Related to Avocets: Recurvirostra, pied avocets

avocet

(ăv`əsĕt), common name for a long-legged wading bird about 15 to 18 in. (37.5–45 cm) long, related to the snipe and belonging to the same family as the stilt. The American avocet or blacknecked stilt, Himantopus mexicanus, and the Australian avocet have black and white bodies and brown heads; the African and Eurasian species are black and white and are strikingly visible at distances. Avocets, like stilts, are wetland inhabitants. By sweeping their long, thin, upwardly curved bills through shallow water and mud, they capture small water animals, such as crustaceans, mollusks, amphibians, fishes, and insects; other insects are caught on the wing. Avocets have shrill calls, but also have a soft flutelike song. They breed gregariously. The female lays from three to five eggs per clutch in a shallow depression in the ground, which may be lined with small stones and grass. Avocets are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information.
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Charadriiformes, family Recurvirostridae.

Bibliography

See P. Ehrlich et al., Birders Handbook (1988).

avocet

any of several long-legged shore birds of the genus Recurvirostra, such as the European R. avosetta, having black-and-white plumage and a long upward-curving bill: family Recurvirostridae, order Charadriiformes
References in periodicals archive ?
Between 2006 and 2015, avocets have successfully raised a total of 54 chicks at WWT Washington wetland centre.
Avocets have only been breeding in the North East for ten seasons, so to potentially boost their numbers signifi-cantly would be a huge conservation success story.
The two most-abundant breeding shorebirds in San Francisco Bay are American avocets (Recurvirostra americana) hereafter avocets) and black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus; hereafter stilts; Stenzel et al.
The avocet nest was guarded round the clock for five weeks by members of Worcestershire Wildlife Trust to ensure it was not raided by unscrupulous egg collectors.
Avocets make their nest in a simple scrape in the soil, lined with a few twigs on bare islands and mudbanks.
The Avocets are presumed to be failed breeders wandering the country before heading south west for the winter.
Dr Sian Whitehead, senior ornithologist for the Countryside Council for Wales, added: "Breeding avocets almost became extinct in the UK in the 1900s, however they bred for the first time in Wales in 2003 at the Newport Wetlands National Nature Reserve and we hope, through continued management work at the site, that these birds will continue to do well.
Avocets like to nest in areas that are not dominated by vegetation, so the cockle-shell base would be perfect at keeping vegetation down and mimicking their natural habitat.
Four avocets have been spotted on Washington Wetland Centre's Wader Lake for the past two weeks - a first in the site's 36-year history.
The avocets, striking black and white wading birds which are the emblem of the RSPB, are rearing eight chicks on a lagoon owned by SABIC UK near the Seal Sands.
Featuring avocets, Canada goslings and shellducks the pictures were mainly taken at the RSPB reserve in Conwy, a popular birdwatchers" paradise.
Avocets which tried to nest at the trust's Cresswell Ponds reserve for the second year in what is the most northerly nesting site for the birds, were washed out.