European birds    Bird names   News   Family groups 1-26    Glossary    Plumage    Tips    Thumbnails    Gen. info    Credits    Photos for sale   
NON-PASSERINES     1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10     11     12     13     14 15     16     17     18     19     20     21     22     23     24     25     26     PASSERINES
Common names sorted alphabetically: A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   V   W   Y  

9

Pied Avocet

(Recurvirostra avosetta)
Alternate name(s): "Black-capped Avocet", "Eurasian Avocet", "Avocet"
German name(s): "Säbelschnäbler"

Size: 42-45 cm (incl. bill, ca. 8 cm; excl. legs); wing span: 77-80 cm
Weight: 230-430 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Pied Avocet at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

MALE

Lateral view of a Pied Avocet foraging by the sandy bank of a river in inland Poland - note the long bill with small upward curvature (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[River Bug Landscape Park, near Malkinia, Masovia, Poland, June 2018]

FEMALE

Near-frontal view of a foraging female(?) Pied Avocet; note the brownish tinge in the dark parts of the head
(photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Rio Coina, Palhais, Barreiro, Setubal, Portugal, February 2018]

Lateral view of a female(?) Pied Avocet - note the rather short bill with pronounced upward curvature (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Lateral view of a snoozing female(?) Pied Avocet (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Naturschutzgebiet Wallnau/Fehmarn, Fehmarn, Germany, June 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female(?) Pied Avocet (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Distant lateral view of a female(?) Pied Avocet in flight (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Lateral view of a flock of Pied Avocets foraging in an estuary; the upper left bird, with a shorter, more upturned bill, is a female (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo Estuary Nature Reserve, Portugal, October 2017]

PAIR

Frontal and dorsal views of two Pied Avocets; the bird on the right, with a long bill with small curvature, is a male
(photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Near-lateral view of two Pied Avocets; the bird on the right is probably a male, the one on the left a female(?)
(photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Lateral and dorsal views of a pair of Pied Avocets (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Sex unknown

Lateral view of a Pied Avocet stretching a wing (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Lateral view of a Pied Avocet in a lagoon, with a Greater Flamingo behind (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Lateral view of a Pied Avocet resting on the edge of a lagoon (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Pied Avocets in a marsh (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[October 2018]

Flock of Pied Avocets foraging in an estuary (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo Estuary Nature Reserve, Portugal, April 2017]

Part of a flock of Pied Avocets in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo Estuary Nature Reserve, Portugal, March 2019]

Part of a flock of Pied Avocets in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo Estuary Nature Reserve, Portugal, March 2019]

Part of a flock of Pied Avocets in flight (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo Estuary Nature Reserve, Portugal, March 2019]

Pied Avocet coming in to land and, in the process, scaring the wits out of a Greater Flamingo (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile Pied Avocet; note the grey cap (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Salgados, Algarve, Portugal, October 2019]

Lateral view of a Pied Avocet with its chick (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Tejo estuary, Portugal, September 2019]

Pied Avocet resting in shallow water while a chick is foraging nearby (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Pied Avocet protecting its 3 chicks (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Pied Avocet protecting its 3 chicks (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Pied Avocet protecting 2 chicks (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Pied Avocet checking out the observer while a young chick is out in the open (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Apr - Jun Eggs: 3 - 4 Incubation period: 23 - 25 days Fledging age: Precocial

Pied Avocet chicks leave their nest at a very young age, soon after the last egg has hatched. They can fly at 35-42 days of age.

Nest building: ? Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: Scrape Material: Sandy soil, grass/twig lining Height above ground: N/A

Frontal view of a Pied Avocet on its nest (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Naturschutzgebiet Wallnau/Fehmarn, Fehmarn, Germany, June 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a Pied Avocet on its nest (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Naturschutzgebiet Wallnau/Fehmarn, Fehmarn, Germany, June 2018]

Eggs

Size: 54 x 36 mm Colour: Creamy, with small dark-brown to black speckles Shape: Long tapered oval

Food, Diet

Lateral view of a Pied Avocet scooping up small prey (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Rio Coina, Palhais, Barreiro, Setubal, Portugal, February 2018]

Lateral view of a Pied Avocet scooping up small prey (photo courtesy of J. Pires)
[Rio Coina, Palhais, Barreiro, Setubal, Portugal, December 2017]

Lateral view of a Pied Avocet scooping up small prey (photo courtesy of H. Dahlem-Senger)
[Naturschutzgebiet Wallnau/Fehmarn, Fehmarn, Germany, June 2018]

Juvenile Pied Avocet foraging in shallow water close to one of its parents (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

Juvenile Pied Avocet gobbling up its prey... (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

... before continuing the search for food (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Santa Giusta, Oristano, Sardinia, Italy, June 2016]

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.