There are two styles in different positions of the Avocet – they are 12cm tall, one with two feet on the ground and the other with one leg raised.
Many species of shorebirds feed by probing the moist mud or sand, or pecking at its surface, but the Red-necked Avocet is different. Avocets have long and slender bills that are elegantly and unusually upcurved, and which are used to forage in the water of shallow wetlands. By sweeping the bill back and forth through the water in a scything motion, tiny aquatic invertebrates are caught with each sweep of the bill. The avocet apparently locates these insects and crustaceans by using its sense of touch.
The Red-necked Avocet has a chestnut brown head and neck with a white eye-ring and a long, upturned, black bill. The rest of the body is white, except for two black streaks along the back. The wings are white, with black wing bars and tips. The relatively long legs are pale grey-blue. The sexes are similar, but the males have a more sharply upturned bill. This species is endemic (native) to Australia. The Red-necked Avocet is found throughout mainland Australia, but breeds mainly in the south-western interior. Out of breeding season, it visits most of the rest of Australia, but is only an accidental visitor to Tasmania or the Cape York Peninsula.
Size: H 12cm