Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

Black-winged Stilt in Bhuj, India, 2015

Black-winged Stilt in Bhuj, India, 2015

The Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) is a very widespread shore bird occurring in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The taxonomy of the species is still debated and some authors differentiate a series of species or subspecies. There are further relatives living in America and Australia which occasionally are considered to belong to this species as subspecies (e.g., the Black-necked Stilt or the White-headed Stilt). The proper Black-winged Stilt is characterised by extremely long red legs, black upperparts and a mostly white belly and head. The birds live around marshes, shallow lakes and ponds where they find their prey which includes insects, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. While populations in warmer regions are residents, birds of colder latitudes migrate (e.g., from Europe to sub-Saharan Africa). I have seen these shore birds at many places, including India (Kachchh, January 2015; Jaipur, January 2014) and Namibia (Etosha National Park, February 2007).

Black-winged Stilt in Bhuj, India, 2015

Black-winged Stilt in Bhuj, India, 2015

Black-winged Stilt in Bhuj, India, 2015

Black-winged Stilt in Bhuj, India, 2015

Black-winged Stilt among other waterbirds in Bhuj, India, 2015

Black-winged Stilt among other waterbirds in Bhuj, India, 2015

Black-winged Stilt in Jaipur, India, 2014

Black-winged Stilt in Jaipur, India, 2014

Black-winged Stilt in Jaipur, India, 2014

Black-winged Stilt in Jaipur, India, 2014

immature Black-winged Stilt in Jaipur, India, 2014

immature Black-winged Stilt in Jaipur, India, 2014

Black-winged Stilt in the Etosha National Park, Namibia, 2007

Black-winged Stilt in the Etosha National Park, Namibia, 2007

Black-winged Stilt in the Etosha National Park, Namibia, 2007

Black-winged Stilt in the Etosha National Park, Namibia, 2007

3 responses to “Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus)

  1. I love the Black-winged Stilt it is one of my favorite birds, especially when it reflects its image in the water. I enjoyed watching them nest last year and see their babies.

    • is that the same species or a related one? I did not know that the Black-winged Stilt actually occurs in Australia… maybe that is due to these taxonomic discussions…

      • Yes we have stilts, they tend to flock companion with red-necked avocets. They look the same as your, I have them on my site in previous blogs, including pics of eggs and babies.

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