Fun Avocet Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Oct 20, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Ambuj Tripathi
Avocet facts are interesting.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

Avocets are common birds, native to several places on the earth. These birds have been classified into four distinct species determined on the basis of their locations. They are the American avocet, Andean avocet, pied avocet, and red-necked avocet. All four species are somewhat similar in terms of appearance. However, some of them come with some additional brassy orange color (like the American avocets). Avocets excel in wading and swimming. Normally, they prefer wading in shallow waters and swimming when the water goes down deep. Belonging to the family of Recurvirostridae, the American avocets like the other avocet species, are known to display a peculiar behavior when they feel the presence of predators or intruders in the vicinity. Either they face the predators by ruffling up their feathers, crouching, and then dashing at them with a long outstretched neck or even with unfolded wings. If this doesn't scare off the predators, they crouch and hide in safe spots.

If you love to read intriguing facts about various species of birds then these avocet facts will keep you hooked. If you enjoy this article, check out the cardinal bird and the house finch.

Avocet Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an Avocet?

Avocets are a type of bird.

What class of animal does an Avocet belong to?

Avocets belong to class Aves of animals.

How many Avocets are there in the world?

The present number of species in existence cannot be determined due to the lack of computations. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized avocets among the species of Least Concern for preservation which clearly implies that the population of these birds is not under threat. However, IUCN fails to provide accurate data about the number of birds in current existence making it difficult to ascertain their population trend.

Where does an Avocet live?

Avocets have been classified into four species namely the American avocet, Andean avocet, pied avocet, and the red-necked avocet. The American avocets are native to Alberta, Central America, Saskatchewan, Mexico, California, and southern Florida, while the Andean avocets are found in Argentina, southern Peru, western Bolivia, and northern Chile. On the other hand, the pied avocets are native to central and western parts of Asia and Europe. The red-necked ones can be traced in several places in Australia.

What is an Avocet's habitat?

The habitat of these birds includes wetlands, salt marshes, swamps, peatlands, fens, and bogs. You can trace an American avocet on the coasts of California or in western Bolivia during the winter season as these birds stick to the warm coastal regions in the harsh winter times. The habitat of an American avocet includes ponds, shallow lakes, beaches, and mudflats.

Who do Avocets live with?

Avocets are known to stick together and move in flocks.

How long does an Avocet live?

Generally, an avocet bird enjoys a life span of seven years.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding season among the avocets starts around the middle of April, continuing through June. Since the avocets flock together, they also nest together by forming colonies comprising around 150 to 200 pairs. During the breeding season, followed by the nesting period, shallow marshy regions become their habitat. Both the males and females work hard at building the nests. The males stay with their female counterparts for one breeding season only. During the breeding season, the males exhibit courtship and try to please the females finally resulting in copulation. The females go through an incubation period of 18 to 30 days. The females can lay three or four eggs after every breeding period. Once the eggs hatch, the chicks are able to walk as well as feed themselves within an hour of hatching, but they stay dependant on their parents for a while longer afterward.

What is their conservation status?

As per the International Union for Conservation of Nature, all four species of avocets have been listed under the least concern. This indicates that the birds belonging to the order Charadriiformes, family Recurvirostra are quite plentiful and hence not considered endangered.

Avocet Robin Fun Facts

What do Avocets look like?

Avocet facts are all about the black and white bird.

The vintage look of an avocet is nothing less than mesmerizing. Although the plumage of an avocet is not strewn with color variations, they possess an elegant appearance with white as the primary color marked with black all over. American avocets develop some rusty orange markings on their head and neck at the time of the breeding season. However, these birds also have a black upturned bill, webbed feet as well as slender legs to aid their movements during wading and swimming. The males and females of the species exhibit little difference with the males having a longer and less curved bill.

How cute are they?

More than possessing a cute appearance, these birds speak volumes about sophistication. The avocets are magnificent birds with a striking black and white look.

How do they communicate?

Avocets are expressive birds and their vocalizations range from a soft melodious call to shrill piercing sounds. These birds normally express through three distinct calls that include the broken wing call, excited call, and common call. The broken wing call sounds more like a high-pitched screech that can be called anything but melodious. They normally give out the rhythmic and pleasant common call that is a wheep sound.

How big is an Avocet?

On average, avocets are 16-18 in (42-45 cm) tall. An American avocet stands at a length of about 16-20 in (40-51 cm) and is larger than the pied avocets with a length of approximately 15.5-17.8 in (42-45 cm). These birds are undoubtedly larger than hummingbirds or sparrows but much smaller than the macaws.

How fast can an Avocet fly?

The highest speed limit of an avocet in flight has been recorded at around 25 mph (40.2 kph).

How much does an Avocet weigh?

The average weight of an avocet spans around 5-14 oz (140-400 g).

What are their male and female names of the species?

The males of the bird species are called cocks and females are called hens.

What would you call a baby Avocet?

A baby avocet is referred to as a chick. Sometimes the babies are called nestlings or hatchlings.

What do they eat?

Avocets feed on small fish, crustaceans, and other sea insects or aquatic invertebrates. They also feed on plant seeds. These birds are adept at catching their prey with scything, that is, sweeping movements made by the bill and often by plunging and pecking.

Are they friendly?

Avocets are social birds as they normally live with their flock. Apart from the flock, they form a great companionship during the breeding period. They portray love and warmth for the mates belonging to the family of Recurvirostridae. However, the interaction of these birds with humans has been limited. They are not known to exhibit aggressive behavior towards anyone (apart from their predators).

Would they make a good pet?

Avocets are normally not taken up as pets. Birds are the best when they are liberated from their cages. It is difficult to maintain an avocet as a pet as certain requirements need to be taken care of this includes the recreation of their natural habitat, well-built nests, food, and other significant factors. They need a somewhat larger area than what a cage can offer. Perhaps they cannot be adopted as pets but one can extend some help and support by preserving their natural dwelling places.

Did you know...

As noted by Francis Willughby, these unique birds with the upward curved bill were tagged as the 'avosetta of Italians' in the year 1678.

American avocets are also called by the colloquial name 'blue shanks' due to the gray-blue color of their legs.

The male avocets help the females in finding suitable places for setting up their nests.

The wingspan of avocets range between 30-31.5 in (76-80 cm). They use their wings by spreading them up widely when they feel threatened by the presence of predators.

Avocets are not limited to wetlands only. Apart from the wetlands, these birds can be seen on beaches and coasts, getting a sun tan during winter!

Preening the feathers of the opposite sex is an expression of love that the males often indulge in during the courtship period. This keeps the feathers well maintained while also creating a bond between the two birds ready for mating.

An avocet likes to keep itself clean and knows well how to comfort itself by preening.

Sometimes female American avocets sneak inside the nests of other female avocets and secretively plant their eggs. The ignorant females then care for the eggs until they hatch.

Avocets catch their prey by pecking and scything in the mornings while they often engage in plunging in the darkness of the night.

What does Avocet mean?

The avocets of genus Recurvirostra have derived their name from the Latin word 'recurvus' which implies curved backward and the word 'rostrum' meaning bill. However, the name 'avocet' has its origins in the Italian word, 'avosetta'. The word refers to long-legged birds of the shore with an upturned bill.

Why do avocets have curved beaks?

One of the exceptional avocet properties includes its upward curved beaks. With the help of an upturned beak, the bird can catch its prey with ease. The bird uses the beak like a tweezer. First, the beak is utilized in stirring up all the mud and dirt in the shallow muddy waters with brisk sweeping movements of the bill. This brings up the prey to the surface. Then, the bird pinches out the prey out of the mud to feed on it.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including the golden masked owl and the quetzal.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Avocet coloring page.

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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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