Black-necked Stilt

The Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) is a beautiful wading bird that is known for its striking appearance and fascinating behavior. This bird measures approximately 13-16 inches in length and has a wingspan of 24-27 inches. The Black-necked Stilt weighs around 4-6 ounces, making it one of the lightest shorebirds.

One of the most distinguishing field marks of the Black-necked Stilt is its black and white plumage. Its head, neck, and upper back are glossy black, while the rest of its body is white. The bird has long, thin pink legs that allow it to walk gracefully in shallow waters. The stilt also has a long, thin black bill that it uses to forage for food in the mud and water.

The Black-necked Stilt is a year-round resident in many parts of its range, which extends from southern Canada to Central and South America. However, some populations in the United States migrate to warmer areas during the winter months. During the breeding season, the Black-necked Stilt can be found in marshy areas and along the shores of freshwater lakes and ponds. They construct a shallow scrape in the ground where they lay their eggs.

Black-necked Stilts are known for their distinctive behavior of walking on the water’s edge on long, thin legs. They are also skilled swimmers and divers, using their long legs and pointed bills to navigate through the water in search of prey. The stilt’s diet consists mainly of insects, crustaceans, and small fish, which it captures using its long, thin bill.

Black-necked Stilt and Willets

In conclusion, the Black-necked Stilt is a beautiful and fascinating wading bird with a striking appearance and unique behavior. It is known for its black and white plumage, long, thin pink legs, and slender black bill. The bird is a year-round resident in many parts of its range but migrates to warmer areas during the winter months in other areas. Its behavior of walking on the water’s edge on long, thin legs and its skillful swimming and diving make it an interesting bird to observe in the wild.

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