Project Noah

Project Noah is a tool to explore and document wildlife and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere.

Join Project Noah Today

American Avocet

Recurvirostra americana


The American Avocet is a long-legged shorebird. It is characterized by a long, thin bill that curves upward. In the female Avocet, the bill curves up a little bit more. This shorebird has a distinctive black and white striped pattern on its back and sides. During the breeding season, the head and neck are a pinkish-tan and during the winter they are a grayish-white color. The Avocet also has bluish-gray legs and feet; thus its nickname, "blue shanks." Length 16.9–18.5 in (43–47 cm ) Wingspan 28.3 in (72 cm) Weight 9.7–12.3 oz (275–350 g)


American Avocets are commonly found on mudflats, in fresh water and saltwater marshes and on coastal bays.


Petersen's Bird Book, and other sources say it is very very rare to see American Avocet east of the Mississippi River. On May first when I found out these birds had been spotted in Milwaukee, I had to go see if I could spot them myself. Until I saw them, and made my captures, I had never seen an American Avocet in the wild. ( At least not to my knowledge).

No species ID suggestions


MayraSpringmann 5 years ago

Beautiful capture!!

williefromwi 5 years ago

Thanks Alicelongmartin, I made these captures at the end of the day, as the sun was setting. The golden hour as it is called by many photographers. Because of that, the birds have that nice warm glow to them.

CourtneyVerk, I was thrilled to be able to pull off a flight shot of these birds, my camera was not set up to take flight shots because of the time of day, and because I wanted quality shots of a bird that is rarely ever seen in Wisconsin.

alicelongmartin 5 years ago

Wonderful series, such warm color!

CourtneyVerk 5 years ago

Beautiful series. I love the last photo of the three birds flying. Well done!

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

Lat: 43.05, Long: -87.88

Spotted on May 1, 2012
Submitted on Jun 17, 2012

Spotted for mission

Related spottings

American Avocet American Avocet Avocet American Avocet

Nearby spottings

American Avocet Mallard Duck Barn Swallow Great Blue Heron