Merlin

Black-necked Stilt

Silhouette ShorebirdsShorebirds

Black-necked Stilt

Himantopus mexicanus
  • ORDER: Charadriiformes
  • FAMILY: Recurvirostridae
Basic Description

Black-necked Stilts are among the most stately of the shorebirds, with long rose-pink legs, a long thin black bill, and elegant black-and-white plumage that make them unmistakable at a glance. They move deliberately when foraging, walking slowly through wetlands in search of tiny aquatic prey. When disturbed, stilts are vociferous, to put it mildly, and their high, yapping calls carry for some distance. ​

More ID Info
image of range map for Black-necked StiltRange map provided by Birds of North AmericaExplore Maps

Find This Bird

In mudflats, saltmarshes, flooded fields, or salt pans, Black-necked Stilts are among the most conspicuous and readily identified of all shorebirds. Their frequent calling during the nesting season (and when disturbed) makes them easy to locate. Carrying a spotting scope—or borrowing a look through a fellow birder’s scope—is helpful in this habitat, where these small birds are usually some distance away.

Other Names
  • Cigüeñuela Cuellinegra (Spanish)
  • Échasse d'Amérique (French)
  • Cool Facts