Throughout the breeding season, avocets colonise flat exposed areas such as mudflats and sandbanks in shallow, saline or brackish wetlands, in areas with minimal vegetation. These become exposed by receding waters throughout the summer, creating extra feeding grounds for this species. Outside of the breeding season, the avocet inhabits coastlines and surrounding muddy areas, such as estuaries, lagoons, sandbanks and mudflats, as well as inland saline lakes.
Diet consists of aquatic invertebrates, such as insects, crustaceans, worms and molluscs, as well as small fish and plants. It usually takes food from exposed mud or from water, using a characteristic foraging technique that involves a sweeping motion of the beak, and it also upends in deep water to reach prey.
Outside the breeding season the birds are usually in flocks of 6-30 individuals, but feeding flocks in certain conditions can be several hundred strong. Flocks break up for the duration of the breeding season.
The nest of the avocet consists of a scrape made in sand, mud or short vegetation on the ground, into which three or four eggs are laid. The nests within the colony are usually only one metre away from each other. The male and female avocet stay together for the breeding season, sharing responsibility for incubating the eggs for between 23 and 25 days. The chicks fledge the nest after 35 to 42 days.
Pollution to their water source, loss of habitat and Climate change.
They are now listed as Least Concern. The avocet is included on the Amber List of UK birds of conservation concern due to its localised distribution in Britain and elsewhere in Europe
- Latin Name: Recurvirostra avosetta
- Class: Birds
- IUCN status: Least Concern
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