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Black-winged Stilt

Wader takes a dive!

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This bird on stilts will lure a predator away from eggs by faking an injury before exploding into a startling flap.

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.

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.

Precinct
Australian Wetlands
Other name
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
Class
Bird
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
Region
Asia
Australia

Where you can find me

Where you can find me

Map of Perth Zoo highlighting the Australian Wetlands