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Pied Avocet

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Pied Avocet is a medium sized shorebird belonging to the family Recurvirostridae. They are black and white in colour with a very distinctive upcurved bill. The female has a shorter and more strongly upcurved bill. Major part of the body is pure white but three thick bands of black colour on the wings are conspicuous. It has reddish brown or red irises, very thin upturned black bill and long pale bluish grey legs and feet. It inhabits the coastal areas, lagoons, tidal mudflats, freshwater lakes and rivers. It forages by wading in shallow water and sweeping the water or mud with its bill from side to side. It feeds on tiny mollusks and occasionally plant matter. During low tide they search for shrimps, clams and other tiny insects in the shallow waters of estuary and floodplains and rests on mudflats, water or the shore during high tide. They breed in the saline wetlands of Europe, Central Asian and Mongolia in April-August. It nests in colonies of hundreds of pairs. The nest is agrass lined scrape in the bare ground, baked mud or amidst short vegetation. In Bangladesh this migratory bird is seen in winter along the banks of major rivers and coastal areas as well. This bird is used as a logo of the Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB), a world known organization for the conservation of bird species. [Supryo Chakma]