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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

13 Amaze-wing Facts About The Black Winged Stilt For Kids

To learn more about this bird species, go through these black-winged stilt facts.

Black-winged stilt, Himantopus Himantopus as it is scientifically known belongs to the Recurvirostridae family and genus Himantopus.  The black-winged stilt range includes Central and South America, Australia, Africa, southern and southeastern Asia. These birds can also be found in certain parts of North America and Eurasia. These stilts inhabit marshes that can be saltwater and freshwater, shallow fringes or sides or edges of lakes and rivers, and mudflat types of habitats. Its scientific name Himantopus has its roots in the Greek language and means 'strap or thong foot'. Black-necked stilt and black-winged stilt are known to be similar in size and a relative species. These stilts have long legs which are orangish-pinkish in color and these long legs are extended far away from the body when flying which makes this bird easily recognizable. The bill is long, thin, and straight, and a black bill. The body of adults is black colored above and white below while the young ones are known not to have black-colored back of the neck and the wings and back are brownish-gray with some white spots. Black-winged stilt migration is restricted or limited to a certain population and these stilts are known to be short-range migrants or vagrants. These birds are carnivores and food includes aquatic insects or invertebrates. They also feed on crustaceans. These birds are known not to swim in search of food and wait for their prey near water or near the edges of the shallow water. The breeding of these birds includes bill dipping and preening. Nesting is believed to be done by both the parents and is built with grass, fine twigs. The family is known to stay together till the chicks become independent. The conservation status of these stilts is Least Concern. It is fascinating to know about the black-winged stilt, Himantopus Himantopus, and if you are interested, read these hawk facts and kea parrot facts too.

Black winged stilt Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black winged stilt?

It is a type of bird.

What class of animal does a black winged stilt belong to?

This belongs to the class of Aves of birds.

How many black winged stilts are there in the world?

The population of these birds is estimated to be above 780,000.

Where does a black winged stilt live?

The population of these birds is distributed widely and can be found in the range that includes Central and South America, Australia, Africa, southern and southeastern Asia. These birds can also be found in certain parts of North America and Eurasia.

What is a black winged stilt's habitat?

These birds tend to inhabit marshes that can be saltwater and freshwater, shallow fringes or sides or edges of lakes and rivers and mudflats. The breeding habitats of this species include shallow water,  brackish wetlands with substrate, clay, mud, and open margins.

Who does black winged stilt live with?

These birds can be spotted in small groups.

How long does a black winged stilt live?

This species is known to live for about 12 years.

How do they reproduce?

The courtship, that is before actually breeding, of this species, includes bill dipping and preening and then females are known to take a receptive posture. Males are known to move side to side forming a semi-circle before mating or breeding. The pairs are known to be found in colonies. The nest of this species is made or built with grass, fine twigs, and is shaped like a cone or a bowl. The placement of the nest is done around or in the water. Around four eggs are laid in a 24-hour interval in the nest and both the male and female incubate the eggs. The incubation takes place for about 22-26 days. The fledging happens between 28-32 days. The young ones become independent after 2-4 weeks of fledging.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of this species is Least Concern.

Black winged stilt Fun Facts

What does black winged stilt look like?

The legs and the bills of these birds are some of its noticeable features.

This bird is black and white in color. It has long orangish or pinkish legs similar to black-necked stilt and a black-colored straight bill. This species has a red iris. The back of the neck is black in color and the collar is white in adults. The head is also white. There are known to be certain differences in males and females of the species. A male tends to have a black back with a greenish shine or gloss while the back of the female is also black but has a brownish hue. Basically, the plumage of these birds is known to be black above and white below, and thus, as the name suggests, they have blackish gray-colored wings. The young ones or the chicks are known to not have a black-colored back of the neck and the wings and back are brownish-gray with some white spots. The crown of these birds is known to be grayish and it goes up to the back of the neck and becomes more prominent as the bird gets older.

How cute are they?

These birds are known to be cute because of their plumage.

How do they communicate?

Not much information is available regarding this species' communication but just like other birds, these birds are also known to produce calls and sounds. They are known to have a high-pitched call.

How big is a black winged stilt?

These birds are known to be sized between a robin and a crow and are quite similar to the black-necked stilt. This species is 15 in (381 mm) long.

How fast can a black winged stilt fly?

The exact speed of this stilt is unknown but they are known to be quite fast ones especially when foraging. The legs are extended while flying.

How much does a black winged stilt weigh?

The weight of this species is around 0.35 lb (0.16 kg).

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for a male and females of the species.

What would you call a baby black winged stilt?

There is no particular name for a baby of this species but they are referred to as young ones, juveniles, or chicks.

What do they eat?

The diet of these birds mainly includes aquatic insects. They are also known to eat crustaceans and mollusks. Unlike the (banded stilt) this bird is not known to swim for food, but instead just seizes or hunts the prey as and when it appears on the surface.

Are they poisonous?

This bird is not considered poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

Not much information is available about this bird as a pet but it is believed that this bird would not be a great pet as some populations are known to be migratory and this bird is considered to be a wild one.

Did you know...

In order to keep predators away, these stilts engage in distracting displays and often pretend to be injured or sometimes fly excitedly or frantically to distract the predator from unhatched eggs and young ones.

It is believed that Himantopus Sensu Lato is known to be made up of one species and around five or seven subspecies.  This species is known as Himantopus Himantopus, Sensu Stricto is known to have two subspecies Himantopus in Palearctic, and Himantopus Meridionalis in the Afrotropical region.  

The legs of these stilts almost account for 60% of the height of these stilts.

These stilts are very social birds and sometimes can be seen in groups of 1000 stilts.

Initially, it was sometimes referred to as pied stilts but now this name has been reserved for the Australian species.

These stilts are known to perform certain aerial displays which are named parachute display and butterfly flight and the reasons or purpose of these displays are unknown.

These stilts are known to be very similar to another member of the family black-necked stilt.

Are they predators?

These birds are predators as they feed on aquatic insects, crustaceans, and mollusks.

Are they loud?

The call of these birds is repetitive and is a high-pitched call.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including these magpie facts and cooper's hawk facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our Black winged stilt coloring pages.

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