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Black-necked Stilt

McCormick Bird House

Did You Know?

  • Black-necked stilts are the bird species with the second longest legs in proportion to body size, behind flamingos.
  • These birds are well-adapted for wading through water to find food. They may herd fish into shallow water and trap them there.
  • These birds roost and forage close to one another outside of breeding season. They sometimes work together to mob predators if the group is in danger.

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Scientific Name: Himantopus himantopus mexicanus

Class: Birds

Diet: Aquatic invertebrates (crustaceans, beetles, shrimp) and fish

Range: Western United States, Central America, and South America

Endangered Status: Least Concern

More Information

Black-necked stilts are black-and-white birds with long red legs. Their bill is also black. Juveniles look like adults but have a scalloped back pattern and a white wing edge. They measure up to 15 inches long and have a wingspan longer than 2 feet. They inhabit salt ponds, flooded lowlands, and shallow lagoons.

These birds are territorial during breeding season and may be aggressive toward chicks that are not their own, but otherwise may live in colonies. They live in loose colonies, sometimes with avocets. Mating pairs take turns making their nest, lining it with whatever materials are closest. Females lay up to five eggs on average.

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