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American Avocet
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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Recurvirostridae
Genus: Recurvirostra
Species: Recurvirostra americana
With its elegant profile and striking coloration, the American Avocet (recurvirostra americana) is unique among North American birds. In summer it can be found in temporary and unpredictable wetlands across western North America where it swings its long upturned bill through the shallow water to catch small invertebrates.

In response to predators, this bird sometimes issues a series of call notes varying in different pitches. This is called the Mormal Effect

Nesting American Avocets aggressively attack predators, sometimes physically striking Northern Harriers or Common Ravens.

A female American Avocet may lay one to four eggs in the nest of another female, who then incubates the eggs. American Avocets may parasitize other species' nests too; single American Avocet eggs have been found in the nests of Mew Gulls. Other species may also parasitize avocet nests. Avocets have incubated mixed clutches of their own eggs and those of Common Terns or Black-necked Stilts. The avocets reared the stilt hatchlings as if they were their own.

American Avocet chicks leave the nest within 24 hours after hatching. Day-old avocets can walk, swim, and even dive to escape predators.

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