Long Beach aquarium announces five new baby avocet chicks hatched last month

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Robin Riggs | Aquarium of the Pacific

The family just got bigger and cuter. The Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific announced Monday, July 8, that five American avocet chicks hatched on June 23 and 25 and are on display for the public.

Since 2017, the aquarium has housed the chicks’ parents, which will take turns watching over their new offspring, the aquarium said. In total, the aquarium is caring for seven avocets including the new chicks, according to Michele Sousa, the aquarium’s assistant curator of mammals and birds.

American avocets mostly live in mud lands and are classified as precocial birds, which means they can walk around shortly after they hatch. The new chicks will soon learn to scavenge for blood worms, meal worms, wax worms and crickets, the aquarium said.

In the 1960s and 70s, American avocet populations declined following an increase in wetland agriculture, according to the aquarium press release. The avocet population has steadily increased, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and are currently listed as a “species of least concern.”

The chicks replace their juvenile feathers with adult feathers at about twenty-seven to twenty-eight-days old, the aquarium stated. Adults stand at about 18 inches tall. They have a white body, black and white wings, and long, slender legs. During breeding season, they have a pale rust-colored head and neck.

The aquarium’s shorebird species tends to migrate to southern coastal areas, including Mexico and Baja and the southeast and Atlantic coasts, or California valleys in the winter.
The chicks and their parents are now on view in the lower enclosure in the Guam Kingfisher aviary near Shark Lagoon.