Mobile bird identification
Bird Field Guide

Black-winged Stilt

Himantopus himantopus
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Order: Charadriiformes

Family: Recurvirostridae

Genus:  Himantopus

Species: H. Himantopus
The summer plumage of the Black-winged Stilt is similar to the winter plumage except for variable black or grey markings on the head and neck.
The extraordinary long legs of the Black-winged Stilt are particularly evident in flight. Note the variable amount of black on the neck and head of these birds.

The Black-winged Stilt has long pink legs, black wings and a white body. In summer it has black or grey markings on the back of the neck and head.

Adult Male & Female (Winter)
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Black-winged Stilt distribution
Winter visitor
Resident bird
Passage Migrant
Summer visitor
General distribution:
A widespread summer visitor to Southern Europe. A very rare vagrant in Northern Europe and the UK. Has been known to breed in the UK.
Shallow weedy pools, flooded pasture and rice paddies.
The legs of the Black-winged Stilt are 32cm long and represent 60% of the birds overall weight.
Black-winged Stilt flying and feeding, in summer plumage.
Black-winged Stilt in summer plumage identification
Flock of Black-winged Stilt in flight
*Very long dark pink legs
* key ID points
White underparts
Long thin bill
Black-winged Stilt in flight

Black glossy upperparts

*Long trailing legs in flight

Black-winged Stilt in summer plumage
Adult Male & Female (Summer)
*Very long dark pink legs
Long thin bill
White underparts

Black glossy upperparts

* key ID points

Variable black on neck and head

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Juvenile Black-winged Stilt
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The juvenile Black-winged Stilt has pale edges to the back feathers which are browner than the adult. It also has white tips to the primary feathers which this bird is conveniently displaying.
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