This common shorebird is found in central and South America along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as the Gulf Coast. The Black-necked stilt is found in estuarine, salt pond and emergent wetland habitats; it is generally a lowland bird.
Black-necked stilts most often consume aquatic invertebrates. They also sometimes eat tadpoles, tiny fish, and seeds of aquatic plants.
Black-necked stilts wade for their food, and will only swim or dive if needed. During breeding and during winter, they are strongly territorial birds, and are particularly aggressive to chicks that are not their own. When not breeding, Black-necked stilts roost and forage in closely packed groups, often staying within a foot of each other.
This stilt chooses mudflats for nest locations. The clutch size generally is 3-5 eggs with an average of four. For 22–26 days both sexes take turns incubating the eggs.
Because stilts are wetland birds they are vulnerable to polluted runoff including pesticides especially selenium.
Stilts are sometimes monitored as indicators of contaminated irrigation water in the environment at large. They are listed as Least Concern.
- Latin Name: Himantopus himantopus mexicanus
- Class: Birds
- IUCN status: Least Concern
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