Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide


  Recurvirostra avosetta
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The Avocet is a social bird preferring to nest in colonies and in winter forming large tight flocks on feeding grounds. The Avocet is the emblem of the RSPB due to it's success at encouraging breeding pairs in the UK.
Order: Charadriiformes

Family: Recurvirostridae

Genus:  Recurvirostra

Species: R. avosetta
Avocet feeding and swimming which they frequently do.
A slender elegant bird the Avocet feeds by sweeping its bill back and forward through the water. Note the head down posture of this bird which is typical of the Avocet.
Adult Male and Female
Thanks to: (Modified)
Thanks to: (Modified)
Avocets are just as distinctive in flight, being mainly white with black wing tips and wing bars. From underneath they are completely white except for the wing tips.
Avocet identification
Avocet flying from above
Avocet flying from below

The Avocet is a mostly white bird with black wing tips, cap and wing bars. It is tall and slender with a long fine upturned bill and long blue-grey legs.

*Fine upturned bill
*Bright white body and wings
Blue-grey legs
Black head and neck
Black band on each side of back
Adult Avocet
Flock of Avocet flying
Breeding distribution
Breeding distribution of Avocets
Probably breeding
Confirmed to be breeding in this area
Confirmed breeding sites
Probably breeding
Breeds on shallow saline coastal lagoons and bare ground around ponds near the coast. In winter on muddy estuaries, often roosting in nearby fields at high tide.
General distribution:
Mostly found in Southern Europe in the Mediterranean area and the SW of England. Once very rare in the UK there are now over 1500 pair breeding at managed sights on the South coast. In winter numbers are boosted by over 8000 migrant birds and large flocks can be seen on suitable feeding grounds, but only in the South of the UK.
*Key ID points
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