Australian Bush Birds
Black-winged Stilt  -  Himantopus himantopus
Black-winged Stilt
Adult Black-winged Stilt in the shallows at Lake Tuggerah in NSW showing black and white plumage, long pointed bill and long pink legs.
Black-winged Stilt Black-winged Stilt
Left. Adult Black-winged Stilt. Right. Juvenile Black-wing Stilt at the Mutton Hole near Normanton, Qld. The colour is predominantly grey and white and the legs are not yet the pink-red of the adult.
map map The Black-winged Stilt - Himantopus himantopus - is an upright bird with white face and head, red eye and long, finely tapering black bill. Under side white. Very long pink legs. Back and wings are black; there is a black nape patch separated from the black back by a lateral white band. Grows to 33-37 centimetres.

Occurs alone, in pairs, or in flocks of up to a hundred birds. Struts through shallow water; seldom swims. In flight the long legs trail. Lives in fresh and salt water marshes and flooded paddocks as well as in interior claypans and salt lakes. Found throughout mainland Australia wherever wetlands exist, occurs on a variety of coastal and inland wetlands, only in small numbers on tidal mudflats.

Black-winged Stilt - page 2
Breeding season extends from August to April. Black-winged Stilts build a substantial nest platform of twigs, grass or dry water-weed, usually on a small island in shallow water or on vegetation tussocks. Nests as isolated pairs or in colonies of usually 25 pairs, occasionally 100 pairs.

The clutch usually contains 4 eggs, rarely 5; two or three young fledge.

Similar to the Banded Stilt but that species has an all-white head and chestnut breast band.

Widespread, except in deserts and rare in Tasmania. Other names include Pied or White-head Stilt, Longshanks, Stiltbird.