Recurvirostra Avosetta, mainly white with black forehead, crown to below eyes, nape and upper hindneck. At rest, shows three distinctive black bands on mantle and scapulars, lesser and median upperwing coverts, and outer 6 primaries, bill black and strongly upcurved, long legs, blue grey. Female tends to have shorter, more strongly curved bill. No seasonal variation. Juvenile similar to adult.

Pied Avocet is a widespread but patchily distributed breeder across much of Europe (except the far north), which accounts for less than half of its global breeding range. Its European breeding population is relatively small (57,000 pairs), but increased substantially between 1970-1990. Although several populations declined during 1990-2000, most key ones increased or were stable, and the species was stable overall. Improved knowledge of its winter distribution has shown that it no longer qualifies as Localised, and consequently it is now evaluated as Secure.
This wader inhabits sandy or muddy beaches bordering stretches of shallow water, either brackish or salt. It has a fragmented distribution in Eurasia, from the Iberian Peninsula, England and the southern parts of the Baltic Sea to Turkey, Pakistan and China. It breeds also in northern, eastern and southern Africa. The birds of Western Europe are wintering along the Atlantic coast, from the British Isles to Ghana. Eastern populations winter in eastern Africa, from Egypt to South Africa. The population of the European Union is estimated at 23700 breeding pairs, which represents about 80% of the total European Population. Notwithstanding this species has considerably increased in some regions, including the Netherlands, it is adversely affected by habitat loss, tourism and pollution.

Breeds in flat, open areas typically at shallow saline lades, lagoon, pools, and estuaries with sparse vegetation. Outside breeding season also frequents muddy tidal flats, infrequently found on fres hwater lakes and even rivers.

Breeding in April to August in Eurasia. Nests in large colonies, but sometimnes in small numbers or even solitary. Nest is typically a grass lined scrape in open ground or amongst short vegetation. 3-4 eggs are laid incubated for 23-25 days, by both sexes. Downy young silver grey above grading to buff on sides of head, wing and sides of back, with small black spots on crown, two lines of larger parallel spots on back and spots on thighs. Age of first breeding 2-3 years.

Pied Avocetmigratory in northern parts of breeding range, grading to dispersive in south; significantly larger numbers remain in North Sea countries in mild winters. Winters locally in Britain and in Netherlands; more typically from Mediterranean basin to southern Caspian, and south to African Sahel, Arabia, and India. Dispersal from breeding grounds begins second half July, and in August-September Swedish, Danish, German, Dutch and Turkey birds concentrate around Heligoland Bight and in Dutch delta region to moult. In most years, numbers decline sharply in October, due to emigration, though can still be several thousand present into November. Those wintering Britain and Ireland largely British-bred. Spring passage begins early, with departures from winter quarters from late February or early March. Return to breeding areas to some extent dependent on weather: in western Europe, vanguard may appear early to mid-March, with major return of adults in April.

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