American Avocet & Black-necked Stilt

The American Avocet bird is a relatively large shorebird with an upturned bill, long neck, and round head. It feeds by wading through shallow waterswhile looking for crustaceans, insects, and fish.  Breeding Avocet’s are brown, black, and white while the non-breeding Avocet’s are white and black.  It is found in wetlands, salt ponds, and evaporation ponds. During winter also uses inter-tidal mudflats, and flooded pastures. It’s habitat is from Washington and British Columbia, east to Minnesota, and south to California and Texas. 

 

The Black-necked Stilt has colourful rose-pink legs, a thin black bill, and black-and-white feathers. They are often seen moving through wetlands in search of food while making high pitched yapping sounds. You can often view Stilts on salt-marshes, flooded fields, or salt pans. Black-necked Stilt’s are found in wetlands from North America and the Caribbean south to central Argentina.

Life of Birds

salt pond

Alviso Slough Trail at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso, San Jose

 

Birds mostly fly

 

 

When they don’t

 

 

They hang out

 

White Pelican at Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge

white pelican

Mallard Slough Trail Alviso (San Jose)

White Pelicans can be some of the largest North American birds with a 9 foot wingspan and weighing between 9.2 to 30 pounds. They are identified by having large heads and yellow huge bills. For feeding the pelicans dip their bills to swallow fish. Historically White Pelicans were threatened with extinction due to DDT pesticides during the 1950s and 1960s but returned back to health due to stricter environmental protection laws. White Pelicans generally live in the lakes, marshes, and salt ponds most of the time. The birds are similar to Brown Pelicans except they are larger and don’t dive from the air for fish.

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-white-pelican

Black-necked Stilt

black necked stilt

Photograph taken at the Alviso Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge

 

A Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) of one the most colorful of shorebirds with pink legs, long thin black bill, and black and white plumage. They live in salt marshes, flooded fields, or salt pans. Their diet consists of insects and crustaceans. You can regularly see them at the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge.