Black-necked Stilt

Lisa G. Putman

Joined November 2007

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The Black-necked Stilt is a locally abundant shorebird of American wetlands and coastlines. It is found from the coastal areas of California through much of the interior western United States and along the Gulf of Mexico as far east as Florida, then south through Central America and the Caribbean to NW Brazil SW Peru, E Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. The northernmost populations, particularly those from inland, are migratory, wintering from the extreme south of the USA to southern Mexico, rarely as far south as Costa Rica; on the Baja California peninsula it is only found regularly in winter.

The Black-necked Stilt forages by probing and gleaning primarily in mudflats and lakeshores, but also in very shallow waters near shores; it seeks out a range of aquatic invertebrates – mainly crustaceans and other arthropods, and mollusks – and small fish, tadpoles and very rarely plant seeds. Its mainstay food varies according to availability; inland birds usually feed mainly on aquatic insects and their larvae, while coastal populations mostly eat other aquatic invertebrates. For feeding areas they prefer coastal estuaries, salt ponds, lakeshores, alkali flats and even flooded fields. For roosting and resting needs, this bird selects alkali flats (even flooded ones), lake shores, and islands surrounded by shallow water.

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Charadriiformes
Suborder: Charadrii
Family: Recurvirostridae
Genus: Himantopus
Species: H. himantopus
Subspecies: H. h. mexicanus

Artwork Comments

  • Edith Farrell
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  • Carol Barona
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