Skip to main content Skip to main navigation

Avocet

The avocet is a distinctively-patterned black and white wader with a long up-curved beak. Its return in the 1940s and subsequent increase in numbers represents one of the most successful conservation and protection projects.

How to spot them

Avocets are mainly white, with black patches on the back and wings, and a black cap stretching down the back of the neck. They have long, blue legs, but are most easily recognised by their long, black, upturned bills.

Where to see them

Their natural habitats are grassland, marine and intertidal, and wetlands.  The avocet breeds on exposed mud in a dug-out scrape.

Conservation status

The avocet is amber listed in the UK.

Did you know?

The avocet is the emblem of the RSPB and symbolises the bird protection movement in the UK more than any other species. Avocet were extinct in the UK during the 19th century and were able to recolonise the beaches of East Anglia during World War II while they were closed and flooded as a defence against invasion.

Find out more