American Avocet

American Avocet in water stretching a leg

Sandy-in-Alaska-100x-100The American Avocet is a large slim shorebird with an unusual upturned bill.  I found this particular one in beautiful breeding cinnamon colors at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge on the Gulf Coast of Florida. They nest on small islands near the shore line and amazingly after hatching the chicks feed themselves!  They are never fed by their parents but cannot fly until around 28 days!  How do they manage to survive?

Sandra Calderbank
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