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American Avocet (Recurvirostra americana) and a Killdeer. The Avocet have long, thin upturned bills; black on wings and back; white body. Females have shorter, more strongly upturned bills. In the summer the head and neck are a rich cinnamon color. They use their slim upturned bills to sweep back and forth in shallow water to catch insects, shrimp and other aquatic invertebates.