Saturday, January 22, 2022

Pied avocet

Pied avocet
Pied avocet


Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

The pied avocet is a large black and white wader in the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae. They breed in temperate Europe and across the Palearctic to Central Asia then on to the Russian Far East. It is a migratory species and most winter in Africa or southern Asia.

The pied avocet is a striking white wader with bold black markings. Adults have white plumage except for a black cap and black patches in the wings and on the back. They have long, upturned bills and long, bluish legs. It is approximately 16.5–17.75 in (41.9–45.1 cm) in length of which the bill is approximately 2.95–3.35 in (7.5–8.5 cm) and the legs are approximately 3–4 in (7.6–10.2 cm). Its wingspan is approximately 30–31.5 in (76–80 cm).Males and females look alike. The juvenile resembles the adult but with more greyish and sepia tones.


These pied avocet species do not normally occur in forests. These species occur in altitudes from 0 to 3000 meters.The natural ecosystems of these pied avocet species include flooded tropical and subtropical grasslands, montane wetlands, river deltas, floodplains, freshwater lakes, coastal lagoons, marine lakes, brackish water lakes, intertidal mudflats, estuaries, marshes and alkaline lakes.


These birds forage in shallow brackish water or on mud flats, often scything their bills from side to side in water (a feeding technique that is unique to the avocets. They mainly eat crustaceans and insects.

Breeding habits

The breeding season of these pied avocet species varies vastly over their massive range. In general the breeding season in colder ranges is from April to August. In warm tropics and subtropics the breeding season is from June to November.The nesting sites of pied avocets are located in flat open areas on shallow freshwater, brackish water or saline wetlands, marshes, shallow lake edges, flooded fields, irrigated areas, coastal lagoons, mudflats and swamps.The pied avocet nest is a bare shallow depression or scrape on sand, dried mud, short grass, dead vegetation or a mound of plant debris. These birds nest in large, close colonies. The typical clutch may contain 3-5 pale buff colored eggs with a few small dark spots.These avocets are very noisy and highly aggressive during breeding season. They lower their head and neck chase away birds and other animals approaching their nest or entering their breeding territory.


India,Bangladesh,Pakistan,Sri lanka,Bhutan,Nepal and Maldives.

Wikipedia Entry: Wikipedia Link

Sources Of Information

Birds of the Indian Subcontinent by Grimmett, Carol Inskipp and Tim Inskipp, ISBN 0-691-04910-6


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