Avocet landing in water


Avocets are famous as the RSPB's emblem and are a remarkable conservation story. They came back from the brink of extinction in Britain in the mid-19th century, and recolonised the beaches of East Anglia that were closed during the war. Avocets are elegant wading birds with long upturned beaks that sift invertebrates from the water. Their black and white plumage is not their only striking feature, they also have long blue legs that dangle well behind the tail during flight. The young are quick off the mark after hatching, running and feeding within hours - handy when your nest is just a scrape in the mud.

Scientific name: Recurvirostra avosetta

Rank: Species

Common names:

Pied avocet

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The Avocet can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, China, Europe, Mediterranean, Russia, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Avocet distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Birds
  5. Shorebirds
  6. Recurcirostridae
  7. Recurvirostra
  8. Avocet

Characters we've followed

  • The Pensthorpe avocets The Pensthorpe Avocets

    In 2010 Springwatch followed a breeding pair of avocets as they tried to incubate their two eggs.

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