Estimated Wild Population
American avocets are long-legged shorebirds with a long, thin bill that curves upward and distinctive black-and-white stripes on their back and sides. These birds got their colloquial name, “blue shank,” from their bluish-gray legs and feet. During breeding season, their head and neck are a pinkish-tan color, and during the winter, they turn grayish-white. They are most active during dawn and dusk.
Interesting Fact 1
American avocets are colonial nesters and often travel in flocks of several hundred.
Interesting Fact 2
They swoop their long, thin bills back and forth in the water to catch insects and aquatic crustaceans.
Interesting Fact 3
Females lay three to five olive-colored eggs with brown and black spots.
Commitment to Care
Lincoln Park Zoo prioritizes individual well-being over everything else. Guided by scientific research, staff and volunteers work to provide the best welfare outcomes for each individual in the zoo’s care.
Support Your Zoo
Animals Depend On People Too
When you ADOPT an animal, you support world-class animal care by helping to provide specially formulated diets, new habitat elements, and regular veterinary checkups.
The Wish List is full of one-of-a-kind items for the zoo’s animals, including nutritious snacks and enrichment items to keep them active and healthy.
Take Action With Us
Wildlife face many daunting challenges—some global, like planet-wide climate change, and some that affect individuals, like an animal ingesting plastic—but now is not the time to despair. None of these problems are too big for us to come together and solve.