Recurvirostra Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed.; i, p. 181 (1758).
Type by mon., Recurvirostra avocetta Linn.
In this genus the bill is very long, flexible, curved upwards towards the tip, depressed and with both mandibles flattened ; the nostrils are placed near the base in an ill-defined groove, which extends over less than half the upper mandible; the tarsi and tibia are long and bare, the former reticulated; there is a small hind toe and claw and the anterior toes are deeply webbed, the webs notched in the middle; the wing is long, the first primary longest.
As in the preceding genus, Himantopus, the value of the differences in these birds has been considered from various points of view by different systematists, some considering them merely of subspecific value, whilst others consider them to be not only specific but generic. One species, the type of the genus, occurs in India.