American Avocet Devouring a Tiny Crayfish

American Avocet eating a tiny crayfishAmerican Avocet eating a tiny crayfish – Nikon D810, f8, 1/1000, ISO 320, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

There were thousands and thousands of American Avocets at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge yesterday along with stilts, dowitchers and other shorebirds. The water has been drawn down in some locations which means the shorebirds have new areas where they can go to forage and feed.

I was tickled to photograph this American Avocet as it fed but it wasn’t until later that I knew it was devouring a tiny crayfish. As a little girl I often played with crayfish in a creek near my home and have always liked the little crustaceans but I don’t recall ever seeing one this tiny. The avocet seemed to struggle a bit trying to get the crayfish lined up just right in its bill but when it did it swallowed it whole.

People call crayfish mudbugs, crawdads and crawfish. I think this avocet just called it breakfast!

Life is good.



  1. Elephant's Child August 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    I am always fascinated by their bills. And echoing Patty. Again.

  2. Patty Chadwick August 29, 2016 at 11:55 am

    A beautiful, serene picture…love both bird and reflection….a nice change in these hectic, poisonous, political times….

  3. Bob McPherson August 29, 2016 at 7:23 am

    Wonderful picture, Mia.

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