Bird #307 — American Avocet

recurvirostra (from recurvus, bent, and rostrum beak) americana (of America)

Friday, April 6, 1984 — 1:35 pm

Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

 As my family and I drove through New Mexico this morning, I saw that our road, Interstate 25, cut right through Bosque del Apache.  The experiment to place Whooping Crane eggs in Sandhill Crane nests had just ended, and the few Whoopers that had hatched wintered at the refuge with their foster parents.  I was hoping they were still around.

Once on the refuge, we drove through miles of dry scrub without seeing anything except a lone Northern Harrier.  But when we got near the headquarters, we saw several pools of water and a lot of birds.  Almost immediately, I saw ten American Avocets.  They were wading belly-deep in a pond, often sticking their heads under the water or swishing their bills back and forth under the surface.

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