What is it?
The American Avocet or Recurvirostra americana is a long legged shorebird in the family with the stilts. It is considered a large shorebird at eighteen inches in length. The Avocet is charecterized by a long, thinbill that curves upward, more so in the female. It has a distinctive, black and white stripped pattern on its back and sides. During the breeding season the head and neck are a pinkish-tan. During the winter they turn more white. the birds legs and feet are a bluish-gray On average there are 250,000 shorebirds seen and recorded around the Great Salt Lake each year. 30,000 of these are American Avocets which nest along the eastward beaches
Where does it live?
The American Avocet is a migratory bird that lives on mudflats, in saline lakes, freshwater and saltwater marshes from the beaches of the florida coast to as far south as Mexico and Guatamala during the winter months. During the summer months they may be found as far north as canada. They are protected under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty. The Avocet is found at the Great Salt Lake from mid-March through there breeding season, April to June. Some individuals have been recorded as late as December. The greatest number of Avocets has been recorded during July by the Utah Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. During this month as many as 30,000 avocets were seen and recorded, most of which were living and breeding along Ogden Bay and a few miles north at Harold Crane and south in Layton Marsh. A mating pair will live on the beaches making impressions in the sand for nests, and incubate three to four eggs for 22- 24 days. Soon after hatching the young can swim and feed themselves. The parents take an active role in raising their young and can be very aggresive toward intruders.
does it eat?
is the American Avocet important to the G.S.L. food web?
Paton, Peter W.C.,Kneedy, Craig, Sorensen, Ella “Chronology of shorebird
and Ibis Use of Selected Marshes at Great Salt Lake.” Utah Birds Vol. 8
#1 March 1992 pg.6-13