Thursday, October 25, 2012

American Avocets at Bolivar Flats

Of the 4 species of avocets, perhaps the American is the most colorful. However, in basic plumage, when their rufous color is absent, the monochromatic elegance of this distinctive shorebird is most evident.


American Avocets breed in the North and Western regions of our continent and overwinter in Florida, California, Central America and also Texas -- where this photograph was taken at Bolivar Flats Shorebird Sanctuary (Galveston, TX).


The female's bill is more up-turned than the male's -- other than that, the sexes are virtually indistinguishable.


Other birds seen included western sandpiper [left], white-morph reddish egret [center] and the humble sanderling [right].


Also seen were Caspian [lower left] and Forster's terns [upper left] -- and plovers were well represented with snowy [middle] as well as piping [right].


Finally, marbled godwit [upper left] together with long-billed curlew rounded out the morning's fine birding at this important shorebird sanctuary.


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