Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Red-necked Avocet
Recurvirostra novaehollandiae
(Viewing 4 of 12 photos)

Inland shallow waters with little islands and muddy edges are the top spots for Red-necked Avocets, however they occur over most of Australia, mainly in the southern half. After inland flooding and ideal conditions they can form quite large nesting colonies but mostly you will find them in small numbers around the shallow edges of inland lakes and wetlands particularly where salt tolerant vegetation such as samphire occurs. Just recently I saw a small non-breeding flock (30 or so) braving the little waves about 20 metres from the shore on the edge of Moreton Bay near Brisbane - this sort of occurrence is also not unusual. Very little is known about their life history. They feed on insects and crustaceans in shallow water, mainly by using a side to side swishing action with the upturned bill, presumably locating their prey by touch but they also take food from the surface. On a recent trip to the inland I came upon three pairs on a little flooded claypan between the dunes south of Innamincka. They didn't appear to be nesting, but nevertheless one of the birds repeatedly dived at me (pic 148206D) so I presume there were young fledglings hidden somewhere nearby.

Photo: 148005

148005 ... Red-necked Avocet.

Photo: 148201

148201 ... Red-necked Avocet

Photo: 148202-D

148202-D ... Red-necked Avocet

Photo: 148203

148203 ... Red-necked Avocet

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