I can remember the moment when I first became fascinated with shorebirds. It was in the movie, "The Sandpiper" with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton sometime in the 70's. Yes, I'm afraid I'm THAT old! Watching those little sandpipers try to outrun the incoming waves rather set the tone for me. My husband and I lived in Monterey on the central coast of California where the movie was filmed. From that time on I enjoyed watching, naming and photographing the different species of shorebirds in the area. There are many different kinds of Avocets which is the one in the painting. This one is the American Avocet, and I understand they get an orange-ish coloring on their neck and head during mating season. They're quite the striking bird with their black and white coloring and scooped bill.