Recurvirostra Americana – American Avocet

Recurvirostra Americana - American Avocet in the United States

The American avocet, Recurvirostra Americana belongs to the Recurvirostridae family of waders. It forages in shallow water or on mudflats, swinging its bill side to side in search of crustaceans and insects.

Quick Overview: Recurvirostra Americana – American Avocet
Body size: Around 18-20 in (4-51 cm) and a weight of 315 g (11.1 oz)
Main colors: Black, Blue, White, Brown
Range: Southwestern United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: June, July, August, September
Conservation Status: Least Concern

American Avocet Description

These long-legged waders feature a sleek black beak and bright blue legs with a light brown head and neck. These birds have the longest legs and are the tallest. Their distinctive black and white pattern on their back and wings, as well as their highly upcurved black beak, set them apart from black-necked stilts. Females have a shorter, upward-curved beak than males, which is longer and straighter.

Recurvirostra Americana - American Avocet in the United States
Recurvirostra Americana – American Avocet. Photo by: Paneendra BA


These birds have a length of 18-20 in (4-51 cm) and a weight of 315 g (11.1 oz). Their wings could range from 27-38 in (69-97 cm).


American avocets swoop in shallow water to hunt aquatic insects. They feed in large groups of up to 100 birds and are said to be strong swimmers. Insects, crustaceans, watery plants, and seeds are some of the foods consumed.


Americans Avocets inhabit mudflats, ponds, and freshwater marshes. Lakes, rocky/sandy seashores, bay/coastal islands, and tidal flats have them.


American avocets are migratory birds that build their nests in large groups. Outside of the breeding season, they graze in large groups of several hundred individuals. They are active throughout the nighttime hours.

Recurvirostra americana Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Recurvirostridae
  • Genus: Recurvirostra
  • Species: Recurvirostra americana

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the summer season (June – September).

Distribution of the American avocet in the USA

Breeds in the interior of Washington and British Columbia, east to Minnesota, and south to California and Texas, according to the United States. Geological Survey. It spends its winters on the west coast from Alaska to California, on the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida, and along the southern Atlantic coast.

The American avocet can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Recurvirostra Americana – American Avocet

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