American avocet in exhibit

American Avocet

Scientific Name
Recurvirostra americana
Western North America through northern Central America
Beaches, mudflats, and ponds
Estimated Wild Population
American avocet in exhibit Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern Endangered Status Graph - Least Concern

More Information

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.

Did You Know?

American avocets are colonial nesters and often travel in flocks of several hundred.

They swoop their long, thin bills back and forth in the water to catch insects and aquatic crustaceans.

Females lay three to five olive-colored eggs with brown and black spots.

Animal Care staff working with seal

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