Acocet chick at NWT Cley by Graham Canny 1/10
Avocet with chick on Pat's Pool at NWT Cley by Kevin Woolner 2/10
Avocet at Titchwell by Elizabeth Dack 3/10
Avocet at Titchwell by Elizabeth Dack 4/10
Avocet at NWT Cley by Colin Scott 5/10
Avocet at NWT Cley by Zoe Shreeve 6/10
Avocet at NWT Cley by Mike Rawlings 7/10
Avocets at NWT Cley by Brian Dunning 8/10
Avocets by Steve Bond 9/10
Avocet chick by Chris Mills 10/10

Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta

The avocet is one of the most readily identified shorebirds in the UK. Its return to East Anglia as a breeding bird in the years after the Second World War was one of the great avian success stories of the twentieth century. Today the species is common in coastal wetlands in East Anglia and increasingly further afield.

Conservation status

Happily the Victorian hunters and egg-collectors who drove the avocet to national extinction in the nineteenth century are a distant memory and the species’ fortunes have changed radically. The avocet remains amber-listed in the UK, on account of its localised breeding and non-breeding populations. Norfolk has a large population of avocets and is one of the best counties in which to see them breeding.

Related questions & advice

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Did you know? Avocets were hunted to extinction in the UK during Victorian times. Their return as a breeding bird to East Anglia is thought to have been precipitated by the flooding of coastal areas during the Second World War as a defence against Nazi invasion.

With practice, male and female avocets may be distinguished by the shape of their bills.
How to recognise
Where to see
When to see
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