American Avocets are large shorebirds whom are part of the Recurvirostridae family which is a family of waders. The family contains two general groups of birds, the Avocets and the Stilts. American Avocets’ coloring changes with the seasons. Their upper chest to the top of their head is a cinnamon color during the summer and a grayish color during the winter. These birds are very big and can get as high as 20 inches tall and weigh as much as 14 ounces.
In the summer, American Avocets breed in Central and parts of Western America. They are migratory and will migrate to the south and southwest area of North America.
You will often find them in shallow freshwater and saltwater ponds, mud flats and wetlands.
Like Greater Yellowlegs American Avocets forage by swishing their bills from side to side in very shallow water.
American Avocets feed by submerging their heads into the water and search for prey or will catch insects flying in the air.
Nesting and Nestlings:
Both male and female select their nesting site which is usually on the ground near the water. The nest is made by scraping the ground to make a nest shape and is then lined with leaves, grasses and other types of vegetation.
The female will usually lay 4 eggs which are a grey-green color with brown spots. Both parents incubate their eggs. After they hatch they stay in the nest for about 1 to two hours then leave the nest and soon joins a flock of fledgling and some adults who are leaving the nest after the breeding season.
American Avocets tend to eat lots of small crustaceans, insects and aquatic invertebrates, but will sometimes eat small fish, small seeds or berries.