Photo: These Avocets were seen near our city dump (May 2012). Although common, spotting this bird will always make you happy. I’m happy right now looking at this photo.
American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana):
Simply put, an elegant shorebird having an distinct up-curved bill. Recurvirostra is the perfect scientific name for this bird (recurvus curved back: re- + curvus curved + rostrum beak). Lives on both coasts of the US, but is also a fixture near any body of water in Mountain and Western regions.
1) Increases speed of call pitch so predators have trouble gauging their approach.
2) Aggressive: attacks larger raptors.
3) Brood parasites: females may lay eggs in nests of Avocets and other species.
4) Precocial: chicks leave nests within 24hrs of hatching.
5) Beautiful courtship displays.
Populations declined during the 60s and 70s, but recent conservation efforts in wetlands have helped stabilize or increase their overall numbers.
You little stinkers. You’re so lucky that you have evolved an underdeveloped olfactory system. Go ahead and stink up the place. And yes, the stench kills me, but I have an irresistible urge to go see you. Sometimes I waffle, shall I stay or shall I go. The next thing I know, I’m staring out over the water looking for you stinking birds, holding my nose.
The dump isn’t going anywhere soon, and bulky strap-on masks are uncomfortable. Someone should invent a spray that temporarily desensitizes nasal receptors. The inventor should call it Bird Bliss.