January 2009
World Book Science Dataset;1/1/2009, p1
Reference Entry
Avocet, a wading bird with extremely long legs. It is found in both the Eastern and the Western hemispheres. It lives in marshes and near coastal bays and alkaline lakes. The avocet has striking black and white markings on its back, and underneath is pale gray. It is 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50 cm) long. It wades through muddy water, swinging its upcurved bill like a scythe to catch water insects and small fish, shellfish, and amphibians. Avocets often breed in colonies. The female lays three to five pale olive, chocolate-spotted eggs in a shallow nest on the ground.


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