avocet

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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.
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, 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 ?
The results leave Avocets a single point behind their title rivals but with two matches in hand.
Huang also captured some incredible images of a flock of pied avocet spreading their wings and gliding in the air.
As well as increasing nesting space for avocets, the improvements have benefited other wading bird species this season too, including regionally important lapwing and a significant local population of breeding common tern.
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.
When my wife Cathy and I discovered the avocets living here in the midst of Denver a few years ago, we knew we had also found a place for us to nest.
Avocets feed in shallow water, sweeping their upturned beaks from side to side as they walk along.
Avocets made a breeding return to the North East in 2006 when a pair arrived in June at WWT Washington and hatched chicks, with one fledging successfully.
Reserve manager John Gowland said: "Both avocet and common tern are amberlisted birds of conservation concern and our site is home to some key breeding colonies, with the terns peaking at about 100 pairs and avocets increasing from the first pair in 2006 to a site record of 23 adults in summer 2015.
Two Avocets were at RSPB Conwy last week, found by builders working on the new straw-bale LookOut building, due to open next month.
FOUR avocets dropping into RSPB Conwy quickened the heartbeat last week.
The beach is dotted with avocets, Wilson's phalaropes and other migrating and nesting birds attracted to the island.