Pictures and write-up on the Black-winged Stilt bird  

 Stilt  bird 

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From the family of Recurvirostridae

Black-winged Stilt are known by their very distinctive dark pink, long legs and their habit of wading in knee deep water in search of prey. The legs make up to 60% of its overall height. Typically pied [black & white] with red eyes and a straight and long black bill. It hunts by sight and touch plus using the bill to to detect aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, small fishes, eggs, seeds and tadpoles. These assets gives the bird an advantage over other waders.

The bird do not swim while foraging - just feeding and pecking.

Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus

In the table above, there is only one bird mentioned for this family. In fact the bird shares the family with other similar looking birds like Ibisbill and Avocets. Since there is only one species of Stilt, it is featured exclusively.


Black-winged Stilt  Himantopus himantopus 

 Size & diagnostic markings:- The bird is tall and may not look big, in fact it is 40 cm large. Black & white, unmistakable but the variation comes in during teh period when the bird is breeding.

 Distribution :-  Breeds mainly around the coast and inland of African continent other than the western side and across a broad belt across southern Asia
 Habitats & preferences:- This is a lowland fresh water bird and seen where ever there are pools of water. Need not be large ponds but these small body of water must be in a wetland area. Hardly seen in rice fields.
 In Malaysia, where can the bird be found:- Very common bird in the old ex-mining lands of Perak State.
Record of bird's call :-    and Videos:- , ,

Black-winged Stilt  # 1

Black-winged Stilt  # 2

Black-winged Stilt  # 3

Black-winged Stilt  # 4

Black-winged Stilt  # 5

Black-winged Stilt  # 6

Black-winged Stilt  # 7

Black-winged Stilt  # 8

Black-winged Stilt   # 9

female  # 10

female # 11

female  # 12

 My personal jottings :-

This bird is easy to detect. The calls are heard long before the birds are seen. Sometimes could tiny dots far across the pond or in another spot behind the sand banks. The display in different places display different behavior on the sight of approaching humans. Most could be fairly accommodating allowing viewers to get fairly close, less than 100 feet. In other spots, the birds take flight upon seeing the arrival of humans.


Lapwing are mildly dimorphic, where both male and female having different colored plumage. However standing alone by itself, it is not easy to ascertain for sure whether the coat of color is black or varying degree of darkness. To see the differences in shades, it's best sighted when the couple are together and luckily that is also a frequent occurrences.

Anyway, the birds usually appear in flock. So the appearances of the various birds within the flock offer a good chance to make the differentiation, now that you are trying to seek out that fact.