American Avocet

Recurvirostra americana

You can distinguish this tall shorebird from others by its long, blue-gray legs and black and white patterned back. In spring, the heads and necks of both males and females turn cinnamon. The American Avocet catches its food in a unique way: it swings its bill from side to side through shallow water, trapping small invertebrates.

Fun Fact:
Like the newborn chicks of many waterbirds, Avocet chicks can feed themselves and even leave the nest within a few hours of hatching.

What’s for Lunch:
Tiny bugs and shellfish

Where’s Home:
Fresh and saltwater marshes and mudflats in winter; usually nests farther north