are very tolerant of human civilization, and
have even been known to nest in the midst of heavy
traffic areas. Despite being classed as a
"shorebird," killdeer prefer to nest in areas
far from water, and in some urban areas have even been
known to nest on graveled rooftops.
The American Oystercatcher
is distinguished from other oystercatchers by its
brownish back, which contrasts with its black head, and
in having yellowish eyes surrounded by red eye-rings.
Laughing Gull (Larus
Named for its characteristic "laughing" call,
this gull is also distinguished from other gulls during
the breeding season by a black cap with narrow white
crescents around the eyes. An opportunistic feeder, it is
known to steal food from brown pelicans, landing on the
pelican's head and literally snatching fish from its bill
Despite its name, this gull
actually has a head that is more of a dark brown than
black. Narrow white crescents almost meet behind the eyes
but not in front, the back is gray, the outer wing
feathers are white with black tips and blackish
undersides, the tail is white, and the bill and legs are
The American Avocet (Recurvirostra
is the tallest and longest-legged bird in its family. It
is also the only avocet with distinct breeding and
non-breeding plumages, both of which feature very
prominent black-and-white patterns.
This is a medium-sized wading
bird, averaging about 12 inches in body length. It is
distinguished from other waders by its long green legs
and slightly up-turned bill.