The demure, upturned bill, the black and white striped pattern and the gorgeous warmly colored head and neck make the American Avocet in breeding plumage unmistakable.
The Avocet is adapted at finding its bread in a variety of scenarios. It can fish by probing the shallows with its needle-like bill tip, but it is equally comfortable at being in over its head and using its bill as a scythe to collect its prey, sometimes while literally swimming.
I have seen no more than four of these guys at a time in winter plumage in Missouri. During four days at Quivira Steve and I observed dozens.
In the above image you can see the large strides in deeper water this bird’s blue, stilt-like legs afford it.
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