Black-winged stilt — Himantopus himantopus

A remarkable large wader distinguished by its bold black-and-white plumage, featuring a slender, straight bill and vibrant pink legs. It inhabits wetlands with open shallow water across much of Africa and Eurasia, frequently occurring in brackish habitats.

Certain populations undertake migratory journeys, departing from their northern breeding grounds to seek warmer climates in the south. It often congregates in noisy colonies on bare ground near water. While essentially unmistakable throughout a significant portion of its range, it’s worth comparing with the Pied Stilt in certain parts of Southeast Asia. This bird feeds by wading in water, delicately picking prey from the water surface with its needle-like bill. During flight, its long pink legs extend well beyond the tail. Its calls are loud and strident, particularly when alarmed during the breeding season.

Photo: Look how gorgeous Black-winged stilt — Himantopus himantopus

Description Black-winged stilt — Himantopus himantopus

1200The black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus) is a striking and elegant wader bird known for its long legs and distinct black and white plumage. This species is part of the avocet and stilt family, Recurvirostridae, and is found in various parts of the world. Here are the main points about the distribution of the black-winged stilt:

1. Global Distribution: Black-winged stilts are widely distributed across different continents, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. They are known for their adaptability to various wetland habitats, from coastal regions to inland marshes, salt pans, and estuaries. Their extensive distribution makes them a familiar sight in many wetland areas around the world.

2. Europe: In Europe, black-winged stilts can be found in countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Greece, and the Balkan Peninsula. They are often observed in coastal wetlands, lagoons, and salt marshes. Breeding populations are present in several European countries, especially in the Mediterranean region.

3. Asia: Across Asia, black-winged stilts inhabit a wide range of habitats, including freshwater lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. Countries such as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Japan, and Southeast Asian nations are home to these waders. They are known to breed in suitable wetland habitats across their Asian range.

4. Africa: The black-winged stilt has a substantial presence in various African countries, particularly in the wetland areas of sub-Saharan Africa. This includes regions such as the Nile Delta, the African Great Lakes, and other freshwater and saltwater wetlands. They are also found in coastal regions, including those along the Mediterranean coast of North Africa.

5. Australia: In Australia, black-winged stilts are widespread and can be found in a diverse array of habitats, ranging from inland wetlands to coastal areas. They are known to breed in several parts of the country, including the southeastern and southwestern regions. Their distribution extends to New Zealand and nearby islands as well.

Overall, the black-winged stilt is a highly adaptable species with a global distribution, utilizing a variety of wetland habitats for foraging, breeding, and nesting. Its presence in such diverse regions highlights its ability to thrive in different environmental conditions and underscores its importance as a widespread wader bird species.

Listen to them sing Black-winged stilt — Himantopus himantopus

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