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 ?
Between 2006 and 2015, avocets successfully raised a total of 54 chicks at WWT Washington.
Huang also captured some incredible images of a flock of pied avocet spreading their wings and gliding in the air.
Avocets made a breeding return to the North East in 2006 when pair arrived in June at WWT Washington and hatched chicks with one fledging successfully.
Avocets are easily identifiable by their up-curved bill - indeed, their Welsh name Cambig means 'the one with a bent beak'.
A 24-hour guard of a nesting site at Upton Warren Nature Reserve, near Bromsgrove has ensured the safe arrival of four rare Avocet chicks.
Each spring we expect our avocets to relocate to somewhere more private.
Avocets feed in shallow water, sweeping their upturned beaks from side to side as they walk along.
We don't usually see avocets in the middle of the winter, but they have started to hang around on the South Coast all year round.
TITLE FAVOURITES Unicorn Avocets had a rude awakening as the Loughborough and District Table Tennis League season resumed after the Easter break.
"For the avocets to return year after year is fantastic and a real conservation success story."
As well as increasing potential nesting space for avocets -- once declared extinct as a breeding species in the UK -- a host of other wading bird species will benefit from the plans too, including a significant local population of breeding common tern.