In the United States, Black-necked Stilts are commonly seen around flooded lowlands, salt and sewage ponds and shallow lagoons. They are strongly territorial birds, particularly during breeding season and winter. The territories are aggregated, and adults will participate jointly in anti-predator displays, therefore there is some degree of coloniality. When not breeding, they roost and forage for food in groups.
Black-necked Stilts wade in shallow waters for their fare of aquatic invertebrates and fish. Crawfish, brine flies, brine shrimp, beetles, and tadpoles are commonly snatched up by their long, thin beaks.
The Black-necked Stilt is both striking and delicate in appearance with its black and white plumage, long, thin red legs, and long neck. It has a black needle-like bill, black or dark brown upperparts, and a white breast. The iris is red, and there is a white spot above the eye. Breeding males have glossy black wings, back, and back of neck, and a pink tinge on the breast. Non-breeding males lack the glossiness and pink tinge. Adult females have a brown tinge to the back. Juveniles have brown upperparts with buff feather margins, and a white trailing edge to the wing in flight.
When foraging, they appear as if they're slowly "skating" through the shallow water- quite fun to observe.
These photos were taken at the St. Catherine Creek National Wildlife Refuge in Natchez, Mississippi. I hope you enjoyed the images and tidbits of information about these attractive, fascinating birds.
Linked with Stewart at Paying Ready Attention
for Wild Bird Wednesday.