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American Avocet

Recurvirostra americana

American Avocet, Recurvirostra americana, photo © by Michael Plagens

By late February American Avocet males are beginning to show bright rusty color on the face and neck as the breeding season approaches. Observed at the Gilbert Water Ranch, Maricopa Co., Arizona, Feb. 2011.

The long slender bill of Amercan Avocet is very sensitive especially to movement by small arthropods it encounters while probing the mud beneath shallow waters. During the winter months the birds set atop long slender legs are entirely black and white. Come spring the males develop bright rusty orange feathers on the face and neck. These birds are unlikely to be seen far from shallow waer.

Year-round Resident - but mostly absent Nov to Jan when birds migrate futher south into Mexico

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 19 February 2011