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The Black-winged Stilt or Common Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) is a widely distributed very long-legged wader. The breeding habitat of stilts is marshes, shallow lakes and ponds. Some populations are migratory and move to the ocean coasts in winter. These birds pick up their food from sand or water. They mainly eat insects and crustaceans. The nest site is a bare spot on the ground near water.
The Souss-Massa National Park is a 33,800 hectare national park on the Atlantic coast of Morocco which was created in 1991. The habitat is grazed steppe with dunes, beaches and wetlands. The soil is mainly sandy with some rockier areas. It is the only known Moroccan breeding site for the Glossy Ibis. The two estuaries are important for migrants, especially waders and gulls. European Spoonbill and Audouin’s Gull winter in the park. Other notable breeding bird species are Red-necked Nightjar, Thick-billed Lark, Tristram’s Warbler and Moussier’s Redstart.
Souss-Massa also holds captive-breeding programmes for four threatened North African ungulates: Scimitar Oryx, Addax, Dama gazelle and Dorcas gazelle, that are kept in separate enclosures within the park. The reintroduction of the Ostrich – which is extinct north of the Sahara – is also underway.
Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus), Souss-Massa National park, Morocco, Africa
Nikon D200, Nikkor 18-200 mm, 1/350 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 200
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.
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