American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana)
Avocets are the most numerous species of shorebird on the Bolivar Peninsula of Texas, in the winter when you may find over 10,000 on Bolivar Flats. Avocets use their distinctive upturned bill to catch small fish and invertebrates like shrimp. Their bill is very sensitive so they are able to feed day or night.
Avocets are black and white during the winter and have a rusty neck and head during the nesting season. They nest on small islands or boggy shorelines in shallow lakes through out the west. A few non breeders summer on the Texas coast and the large number of wintering birds return in September and October and stay until late April.
photos: top - male; bttm - female (by Greg Lavaty)
(via: Houston Audubon)