Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

Length of the body: 42–46 cm. Wingspan: 67–77 cm.

It has a characteristic upturned bill. The plumage is predominantly white. The head and the tip of the wings are black, there are horizontal black stripes on the back and on top of the wings. The legs are relatively long and pale blue.

Feeds with small water invertebrates. Lives in a salt and brackish lakes, salterns, coastal lagoons. Nests on the ground.

In Bulgaria avocet lives in Atanasovsko lake, Pomorie lake, Poda Protected area, Shablenska Tuzla, etc. Winters in the Mediterranean and Africa.

Threats: drainage and degradation of wetlands, building upon salted coastal water bodies and salterns, disturbance during the breeding period, destruction of the eggs and hatchlings by the stray dogs.

Conservation status in Bulgaria: threatened.

Artificially constructed nesting sites in coastal locations and islands are successful in attracting breeding pairs of this species. Artificial platforms and islets are one of the most important conservation measures for the species – there is a success track record of such measures in the Burgas Lakes. We expect that about 20–50 pairs might start breeding on the island, and increase by 5–10% the national population.

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