Avocets are long-legged wading birds with upturned bills. The bills are used to sweep shallow water for aquatic insects. Avocets also eat crustaceans, aquatic vegetation and seeds.
Avocets prefer living in brackish or salty wetlands. They have webbed feet and can swim well. They nest in loose colonies and are aggressive toward other birds when nesting and breeding. Breeding pairs are monogamous and raise the young together. Adult avocets have few natural enemies, but their nests are sometimes raided by foxes and skunks. The birds help regulate the populations of insects and crustaceans in their habitats and are popular with bird watchers.