Black-Necked Stilt

Himantopus mexicanus

The Black-Necked Stilt is a dark-backed shorebird with a long neck and a thin, straight black bill. This large, slim wader's most distinguishing features are its extremely long, red or pink legs.

The male reaches a height of 18 inches. The mature male's plumage is shiny black above and white below. In flight, the wings are a continual black, and its tail is buff to white, while its red legs trail far behind.

The female is more brownish above, and juveniles are buff-colored on the edges of underparts.

The call of the Black-Necked Stilt is a monotonous series of loud piping sounds. It feeds on the water's surface while standing.



black necked stilt


Throughout southern and western U.S., south to Peru. Includes the Great Basin, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts of the American Southwest, locally near bodies of water. The Sonoran Desert, south to the tip of Baja, California Mexico, is within its year-round range.

Black-Necked Stilt


Mud flats, pools and grassy marshes; both fresh and alkaline shallow lakes. It commonly breeds in both fresh- and salt-water habitats during winter.


Dale reports a sighting of Black-Necked Stilts on May 14th, 2010 at the Horicon Marsh just north of Horicon Wisconsin. “This seems quite a bit out of their normal range. The pictures appear to be two males so not sure if any females are present. Quite a change from their breeding habits.”

If you have taken pictures of birds that you would like us to post, please send them to and put “Bird Pictures” in the subject of your email.



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