Image: Richard Ditch, 2007 [larger view].
Date Time Original: 2007:03:09 09:10:55
Exposure Time: 1/1250
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
Since I know this bird is easy for you guys, I am going to ask you to tell me what you think the bird is doing, standing there like that with its wings standing straight up.
Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
Few indeed are the shorebirds with clear blue legs and feet (we see here the tibia and a bit of the tarsus, along with the stout ankle joint). The black-and-white wing, russet neck, and upcurved bill leave us no real alternatives: what could it be but an American Avocet?
Red-necked Avocet really isn’t that similar. In addition to the different pattern of neck and head, this lovely portrait shows the dark inner primaries characteristic of American Avocet; the same feathers are white on Red-necked.
What do we do when we encounter so easily identified a bird? We try to go further. In this case, the abruptly upturned bill tip lets us identify the bird with some confidence as a male; female American Avocets have more evenly and more gently curved bills.
Review all mystery birds to date.