Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged Stilt  near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.
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Scientific Name  : Himantopus himantopus

Classification :
Kingdom              : Animalia
Phylum                 : Chordata
Class                     : Aves
Subclass               : Neornithes
Infraclass             : Neognathae
Superorder          : Neoaves
Order                    : Charadriiformes
Suborder              : Charadrii
Family                  : Recurvirostridae
Genus                   : Himantopus
Species                 : H. himantopus

How to identify this bird:

The adult Black-winged Stilt are about 35-40 cms long. If you take a good look at the photo gallery above and observe these birds carefully, the following features are prominent:

  • They have essentially Black and white coloured body.
  • They have a slender appearance.
  • They have long pinkish legs.
  • They have a fine straight bill.
  • Their upper wing is black.
  • The legs of the Black-winged Stilt  extend a long way behind tail during flight.
  • Male and female differ in details of colouration as well as summer and winter plumage.
Where do I find these birds:
  • Black-winged Stilt are found in marshes around DPS Tapi and near ponds around the villages.
  • They are also found in the tidal mudflats a little away from DPS Tapi closer to the sea.
  • They are not very shy in comparison to other birds.
  • The stilt legs enable them to wade into somewhat deep water where it can look for worms, and other aquatic insects at the bottom.
  • When they do so their head and neck are submerged at an angle and the hind part of their body sticks out.
  • It can also swim well.
  • Its flight is weak. Take a look at the photo where it is flying to see how its neck is extended and its long red legs are trailing beyond their tail.
  • The Black-winged Stilt nest between April-August.
  • Interestingly, they get very worked up when you are near their nest and start making a lot of noise and flying close above you, indicating the presence of a nest close by.
Local Names

Hindi : Tinghur, Gaz paon