BLACK-WINGED STILT, HIMANTOPUS

HIMANTOPUS, SZCZUDŁAK

The black-winged stilt, Himantopus himantopus is a very long-legged wader in the stilt family. It is called pied stilt too, but that name is mainly for the Australian species.

Adults are 35–40 cm (14–16 in) long, wingspan 75 cm, weight 140-205 g. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are white below and blackish above, with a white head and neck. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females’ backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges.

Young birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.

The breeding habitat of all these stilts are marshes, shallow lakes and ponds. Some populations are migratory and move to the ocean coasts in winter. In Europe, the black-winged stilt is a regular spring overshoot vagrant north of its normal range, occasionally remaining to breed in northern European countries. 

These birds pick up their food from sand or water. They eat mainly insects and crustaceans.

The nest site is a bare spot on the ground near water. These birds often nest in small groups, sometimes with avocets.

BLACK-WINGED STILT, HIMANTOPUS HIMANTOPUS, SZCZUDŁAK

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