One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A long-legged wading bird with a slender upturned bill and strikingly patterned plumage.
Genus Recurvirostra, family Recurvirostridae: four species, in particular R. avosetta of Eurasia, which has black-and-white plumage
- ‘Virtually every conservation body in the land controls foxes to stop predation of a range of birds from terns to avocets to grey partridges.’
- ‘Currently, visitors to the flats are likely to see sandpipers, avocets, oystercatchers, godwits, dowitchers, plovers and other shorebirds on their way south.’
- ‘Birders can watch migratory species such as endangered clapper rails, dowitchers, and American avocets from the platform at Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary.’
- ‘There are herons, ducks, geese, ospreys, eagles, vultures, pelicans, gulls, plovers, avocets, storks, francolins, guinea fowls and many more.’
- ‘Shorebirds, for those of you who want to know but are afraid to ask, comprise many families of birds, including oystercatchers, stilts, avocets, plovers, turnstones, sandpipers and phalaropes.’
Late 17th century: from French avocette, from Italian avosetta.
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