Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged StiltOther Names: Pied Stilt, White-headed Stilt, Longshanks, Dog-bird
Scientific Name: Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Body Length: 33–39 cm
Weight: 165–200 g
Incubation: 22–25 days
Number of eggs: 2–4

Distribution: Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Phillipines
Habitat: Shallow, freshwater wetlands

Description: The Black-winged Stilt has a mostly white body with areas of black on the wings and the back of the head. They have very long and skinny reddish-pink legs and a long, but thin black bill.

Diet: Black-winged Stilts are carnivores. They use their sharp bills to peck and ingest only very small food such as molluscs, miniscule crustaceans, algae, flies and aquatic insects.

In the wild: Both parents of young Black-winged Stilts are responsible for incubating the eggs. Like most birds, they are also very protective of their eggs, grouping together to ward off intruders. Once hatched, the young can leave the nest within a few hours, although they stay with their parents for another month.

Threats: Habitat destruction, which disturbs their feeding and breeding habits, is the main threat to the Black-winged Stilt.

At Perth Zoo: The Black-winged Stilt can be found in the Australian Wetlands exhibit and the Birds of the South-west aviary.

Did You Know? In order to keep predators away from their unhatched eggs, a Black-winged Stilt pretends to be injured so it can lure the predator away. The stilt can also make a sharp yapping sound and fly around frantically to distract any predators.

Download the Black-winged Stilt Fact Sheet (pdf).

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