American Avocets in breeding and nonbreeding plumage

American Avocet in nonbreeding plumage

American Avocet in nonbreeding plumage – Nikon D200, f8, 1/750, ISO 250, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

I photographed this American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) in nonbreeding plumage as it foraged in Glover’s Pond at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in northern Utah a few years ago in the month of November.

American avocet in breeding plumage

American Avocet in breeding plumage – Nikon D200, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 400, Nikkor 200-400mm VR with 1.4x TC at 400mm, natural light

This image of an American Avocet was taken in August of last year at Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge in southwestern Montana.  What a difference there is between the pale grayish head and neck of the nonbreeding Avocet to the apricot to cinnamon colored plumage that a breeding bird displays.

Personally I believe that American Avocets are stunning in any season of the year. (Okay, it isn’t just Avocets I feel that way about, it is all birds)


*I am currently away so I scheduled this post ahead of time, please feel free to share it with your friends & family.


  1. M. Firpi August 25, 2012 at 8:36 am

    These contrasts are amazing and colors are so vibrant!

  2. Merrill Ann Gonzales August 23, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Avocets have always seemed to me to be such graceful birds… Can you fill in on a little detail about the way the mandible curves upward… what unique feeding habit it might enable? These two photos are great… I fun out of superlatives with your photography, that’s for sure.

    • Mia McPherson August 25, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Merrill, Avocets do swish their bills side to side to locate and capture prey. The female’s bill is slightly more curved than the males and the males bill is usually a little longer. Thanks for your comment.

  3. Syl August 22, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    These birds are so unique with their curved the difference in colors, and your photos are so bright and captured the whole enchilda..

    • Mia McPherson August 25, 2012 at 10:52 am

      Thank you Syl, they are wonderfully unique birds and so graceful looking too.

  4. Beverly Everson August 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    These are spectacular images! I love these birds!!

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