Recurvirostra avosetta
English: Pied Avocet.
German: Säbelschnäbler.
French: Avocette élégante.
Order: Charadriiformes.
Family: Recurvirostridae.
42-46 cm.
The Pied Avocet cannot be confused with any other Iberian species due to its distinctive upward curved beak.
Both the male and female have very similar plumage. As a general rule, males may have the shoulder feathers and head patterns tinted with a more intense black than females. In terms of beak length, the male has a longer and less curved beak, while the female’s beak is shorter and noticeably more curved.

Considering the length of the tarsus, males are between 58-98mm and females are between 77-105mm. There is a great overlap, so they are not variables to consider for sexing.

On the other hand, males have an iris tinted in reddish-brown tones, while females have a brown iris.
It is possible to recognize 3 different ages:

Juvenile specimen: The general tones of the plumage appear to be dirtier than the older specimens. The speckled mantle appears to be sprinkled with ochre tones with a barred pattern. The same is true for the shoulder feathers, tertials and tertiary coverts.

1st/2nd year specimen: They have a plumage very similar to that of the adult specimen. This age is distinguishable in individuals who, after the post-juvenile molt, have retained some feathers from the previous generation. They are usually tertials or tertiary coverts that will appear with the barred and worn pattern.

Adult specimen: individuals with well-defined white and black tones. Without juvenile generation feathers. If there is a molt limit, they will always be of adult generation.
Pied Avocet undergo a partial prenuptial molt and a complete postnuptial molt that usually ends in October. Juvenile specimens undergo a complete post-juvenile molt that takes place between September and November.
Primaries: 10 per wing.
Secundaries: 18-20 per wing.
Rectrices: 12.


Adult specimen:
Beak tip to pupil center:

Adult male specimen


1.- Left wing primaries. 2.- Primaries. 3.- Details of the tip of the outer primaries. 4.- Details of the tip of the inner primaries. 5.- Details of the outer vane of the outer primaries. 6.- Details of the outer vane of the central primaries. 7.- Secondaries (S17-S9). 8.- Secondaries (S8-S1). 9.- Secondaries and tertials of the left wing. 10.- Details of the tip of the secondaries. 11.- Primaries, secondaries and tertials of the left wing. 12.- Primaries, secondaries and tertials of the left wing. 13.- Primaries, secondaries and tertials. Primary coverts and secondary coverts. 14.- Primaries, secondaries and tertials. Primary coverts and greater coverts + median coverts. 15.- Primaries, secondaries, tertials. Primary coverts and greater, median and lesser coverts. Alula. 16.- Details of the primary coverts. 17.- Details of the greater coverts. 18.- Details of the tertials and tertiary coverts. 19.- Details of the median coverts. 20.- Details of the lesser and median coverts. 21.- Primary coverts. 22.- Greater coverts. 23.- Alulas. 24.- Rectrices. 25.- Rectrices. 26.- Details of the tip of the rectrices. 27.- Rectrices + uppertail coverts. 28.- Details of the uppertail coverts. 29.- Uppertail coverts. 30.- Rectrices + undertail coverts. 31.- undertail coverts. 32.- Right scapular. 33.- Right flank. 34.- Flank feathers. 35.- Left primary infra-coverts. 36.- Left secondary infra-coverts. 37.- Nape and crown feathers.

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