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American Avocet

American Avocet
Photo Information
Copyright: Rick Price (Adanac) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-05-21
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 5D MKII, Canon EF 600mm f4.0L IS USM
Exposure: f/11, 1/2500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2010-05-27 15:54
Viewed: 3251
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello Everyone,
Today's image is of an American Avocet wading through the shallows, eating snails and alike. Captured him in the Jenner area of S.E. Alberta

American Avocet
Family: Recurvirostridae

Description 16-20" (41-51 cm). A large, long-legged shorebird with a slender, upturned bill. Upperparts and wings patterned in black and white; underparts white. Head and neck rust-colored in summer, white in winter.

Habitat Freshwater marshes and shallow marshy lakes; breeds locally in salt or brackish marshes. Many move to the coasts in winter.

Nesting 4 olive-buff eggs, spotted with brown and black, in a shallow depression sparsely lined with grass on a beach or mudflat. Often nests in loose colonies.

Range Breeds from interior Washington, Saskatchewan, and Minnesota south to California and Texas. Winters on West Coast north to California, on Gulf Coast, and in Florida. Rare but regular visitor on Atlantic Coast in fall.

Voice A loud repeated wheep.

Discussion Avocets feed much like spoonbills, sweeping their bills from side to side along the surface of the water to pick up crustaceans, aquatic insects, and floating seeds. They often feed in flocks, a line of birds advancing abreast, sometimes entirely submerging their heads as they sweep the water for food. During their southward migration every fall, a few American Avocets stray eastward to the Atlantic Coast, where they may be seen singly or in small flocks on shallow lagoons and coastal ponds. In the 19th century, there was a small breeding population in southern New Jersey, but they were hunted to near-extinction. Recently given complete protection, they seem to be gaining in number and before long may be reported breeding on the Atlantic Coast once again.

from eNature.com

ubc64, CeltickRanger, matatur, Argus has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Rick,

Great find and capture! It's not usually that easy to get close to those birds -- again, your 600mm lens was used to advantage. It's terrific to see one strolling through shallow, vegetation-rich water so clearly. Very natural colours on the bird. The grass seems to be a bit dark to me. That's unfortunate too, because the beautiful curved bill is not as clear as it might be. I did a WS to try to lighten the grass while leaving the bill dark. Well done! TFS.


This is certainly one of my favorite shore birds, and I never tire of seeing them. Lovely photo and very interesting information, Rick.

hello Rick

excellent close-up photo of the American Avocet,
with fine POV and framing, fine focus sharpness
and details, and a beautiful luminosity, TFS


Oh this is well focussed, and such a graceful subject too

well done


  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-05-28 7:50]

Hello Rick
Very well presented, with natural colors, low POV and great details

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-05-28 10:08]

Hello Rick,
Although the composition is a bit tiny, this is a very beautiful photo of this Amerucan Avocet. Great natural colours and excellent sharpness. Good low POV and DOF.

That finely curved beak is a little lost over the noisy BG Rick, but still a very good representation of the characteristically striding Avocet in fine focus and exposure, from a good vantage point. TFS it indeed my friend.

Hello Rick,
Wonderful image with this bird taken from a low POV with great details and lovely colors. Well done!

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-05-28 23:04]

Hello Rick,
This deserves more attention!
A fine capture of an American Avocet wading through the rushes. Though maybe the composition is a bit tight at the top, the contrast with the BG, the colours and sharpness are superb with the lighting helping to emphasize the avocet.
Thanks Rick and have a good weekend,

Hi Rick,
Excellant capture. Very nice focus and natural setting. A gorgeous bird indeed.
Have a happy new year,

Hi Rick.
Excellent photo. My best wishes for a HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR.

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