The Bird Book/Avocets and Stilts

The Bird Book by Chester A. Reed
Avocets and Stilts: Family Recurvirostridae



225. AVOCET. Recurvirostra americana.

Range. Western North America, breeding north to Northwest Territory.

The Avocet can be known from any other bird by its up-curved bill, light plumage, webbed feet and large size (length about 17 inches). These waders are quite numerous in suitable localities

American Avocet Black-necked Stilt.

Greenish buff.

throughout the west, constructing their nests in the grass, bordering marshy places. The nest is simply a lining of grass in a hollow in the ground. They lay three or four eggs of a dark greenish or brownish buff color, boldly marked with brown and black. Size 1.90x1.30. Data. Rush Lake, Assiniboia. Pour eggs laid in a depression in the sand, lined with dry weeds. Many birds nesting in the colony.


Himantopus mexicanus.

Range. Like the last, this species is rarely found east of the Mississippi, but is very abundant in the United States west of that river.

A black and white wader, with exeremely long red legs; otherwise a gracefully formed bird. It breeds in large colonies anywhere in its range, making its nests of weeds and sometimes a few twigs, on the ground beside of, or in the marshes. Their eggs number three or four and are brownish or greenish buff with numerous markings of brownish black, these markings being somewhat lengthened and mostly running lengthwise of the shell. They nest during April in the southern parts of their range and through May and June in the

northern. Size of eggs 1.80x1.25. Data. Freshwater Lake, southern California, June 5, 1891. Four eggs laid on a mud flat near the water's edge; no nest. Collector, Evan Davis.


Greenish buff.