The avocet genus name is from Latin recurvus, "curved backwards" and rostrum, "bill”. Its English name probably comes from the Italian Avocet - meaning literally a graceful bird. There are four species of avocets (Recurvirostra) – American avocet (Recurvirostra americana). Andean avocet (Recurvirostra andina), Pied avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta), and Red-necked avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae). In the same avian family as the stilts, avocets are elegant wading birds with long upturned beaks that sift invertebrates from the water.