Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Pied avocet

Thai: นกปากงอน, nok paak ngon

Binomial name: Recurvirostra avosetta, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta) is a large black and white wader in the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae. They breed in temperate Europe and western and Central Asia. It is a migratory species and most winter in Africa or southern Asia. Some remain to winter in the mildest parts of their range, for example in southern Spain and southern England.

This species gets its English and scientific names from the Venetian name avosetta. It appeared first in Aldrovandi's Ornithologia (1603). While the name may refer to black and white outfits once worn by European advocates or lawyers, the actual etymology is unknown. Other common names include black-capped avocet, Eurasian avocet or just avocet.

The pied avocet is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Description

The pied avocet is a striking white wader with bold black markings. Adults have white plumage except for a black cap and black patches in the wings and on the back. They have long, upturned bills and long, bluish legs. It is approximately 16.5 - 17.75 cm in length of which the bill is approximately 2.95 - 3.35 cm and the legs are approximately 3 - 4 cm. Its wing-span is approximately 30 - 31.5 cm. Males and females look alike. The juvenile resembles the adult but with more greyish and sepia tones.

The call of the avocet is a far-carrying, liquid, melodious kluit kluit.

Behaviour

These birds forage in shallow brackish water or on mud flats, often scything their bills from side to side in water (a feeding technique that is unique to the avocets). They mainly eat crustaceans and insects.

Their breeding habitat is shallow lakes with brackish water and exposed bare mud. They nest on open ground, often in small groups, sometimes with other waders. 3–5 eggs are laid in a lined scrape or on a mound of vegetation.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Charadriiformes
Family
Recurvirostridae
Genus
Recurvirostra
Species
Recurvirostra avosetta

Common names

  • English:
    • Avocet
    • Pied avocet
  • French: Avocette à tête noire
  • Thai: นกปากงอน, nok paak ngon

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Distribution map of Pied avocet, Recurvirostra avosetta in Thailand
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Bang Phra Non-hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Borabue District, Maha Sarakham
  • Bueng Boraped Non-hunting Area
  • Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Mueang Trat District, Trat
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-hunting Area
  • Pak Thale
  • Samut Prakan Province

Range map of Recurvirostra avosetta in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

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