American Avocet at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Bear Creek Unit
Mrs. Geotripper got the prize shot the other day of the American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) that we saw at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge. I was on the wrong side of the car when the Avocet decided to walk out of the water and display her wings. The Avocets migrate trough our area on their way north for breeding and there was still plenty of water at the Bear Creek Unit. .
The long curved beak is obviously evolved to sweep through mud and silt, allowing the bird to capture small invertebrates. The bright colors are related to breeding. In the off-season the birds are a bit plainer in appearance (see this post from last year).