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Aug 17, 2012

Just four avocet species in the world

Photo by Mpho Phiri
Pied Avocet
Recurvirostra avosetta

My friend, Mpho Phiri, from Mafikeng, South Africa, posted the photo above in his August 14th, Mafikeng Birding Blog.   The birds are Pied Avocets which he photographed just outside Mafikeng, at the Modimola Dam, a local birding hotspot.   Pied Avocets are found throughout Europe, Africa, Asia and the far east.   There are only four species of avocets found in the world.   In addition to the Pied Avocet, there is the American Avocet (North and South America), the Andean Avocet (South America) and the Red-necked Avocet in Australia.   Just four species...but they seem to encircle the globe.   They are all almost identical in size: 17" long with a wingspan of about 31".   Mpho Phiri commented in his blog that these avocets were the first he had seen in his part of South Africa in three years.   I'm happy for Mpho because these are truly elegant birds to see.
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