Family Avocets, Stilts (Recurvirostridae)

Least Concern

Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae)


French: Avocette d’Australie German: Rotkopf-Säbelschnäbler Spanish: Avoceta australiana

Recurvirostra Novæ-Hollandiæ


, 1816,

Victoria, Australia




Australia, occurring mainly in S, but widespread and with scattered distribution.

Descriptive notes

40–48 cm; 270–390 g; tarsus 81–97 mm in male, 81–90 mm in female. Head and most of neck deep chestnut-red, sharply demarcated from white body; white... read more


Most-frequently heard call a repeated trumpet-like nasal “tuut”. In alarm, a similar-sounding... read more


Breeds preferably at inland salt-lakes; also frequents, and commonly breeds at, variety of shallow... read more

Food and feeding

Not studied in detail. Feeds on variety of aquatic invertebrates including annelid worms, molluscs, variety of crustaceans and insects;... read more


Season mainly Aug–Jan in some southern areas, but also Jun; elsewhere opportunistic, depending on wetlands being filled with... read more


Occurs mainly in S Australia, where dispersive in response to changing water levels. Seasonal... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Total population exceeds 100,000 birds; main site is L Eyre, with 95,000 birds in early 1980s. Has bred at two sites in arid SE of... read more

Recommended citation

Pierce, R.J., Kirwan, G.M. & Boesman, P. (2020). Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 January 2020).