Wednesday, February 25, 2009

So What Do Avocets Eat Anyhow?

American Avocet, Recurvirostra americana. As a follow-up to my last post, here's a close-up of an Avocet with food in his mouth. Is it food or just mud and rubbish? I stared at a bunch of these pictures, all with "food" in their mouths, and they vary a little bit. Generally, there were reddish-brown, longish things about the color of kelp in their beaks (plus some mud along for the ride). It does not appear to be kelp (far bigger pieces of that floating around). I'm sticking to calling it worms. However, if you know what Avocets eat, chime in. Curious minds want to know!

I found a page on the web that says that they eat "seeds, aquatic insects and small crustaceans," apparently including Brine Shrimp when they can get them. At this site, based on the photos I looked at, I'd probably rule out seeds or aquatic insects so maybe small crustaceans cruising on the mud? The mystery objects still remind me of worms though. I know the entire area is rich is worms which other co-located bird species feed on as well as clams which some of the birds either pry open or crack open (something to see!).


Chaz said...

I want to know too!

The Wayward Hawaiian said...

According to Avocets feed by thrusting their bills into the water and swinging them from side to side along the bottom to stir up aquatic insects and other food items. Avocets also eat small crustaceans, plants, and other small aquatic animals.