Himantopus himantopus Linnaeus, 1758 ♂
Common names: Black-winged stilt, Common stilt, Pied stilt [En], Échasse blanche [Fr], Steltkluut [Nl], Stelzenläufer [De], Cavaliere d’Italia [It], Cigüeñuela común [Es], Καλαμοκανάς [Gr], Bayağı uzunbacak [Tu]
IUCN Status: LC (Least Concern)
Hivadolimni, MILOS ● Greece
Description: Adults are 33–36 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. This difference is not clear-cut, however, and males usually get all-white heads in winter.
Immature birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.
Biology: These birds pick up their food from sand or water. They mainly eat aquatics insects, molluscs, crustaceans, spiders, worms, tadpoles, small fish, fish eggs and seeds.
Outside of the breeding season the black-winged stilt is a social species and can be found in groups of up to 1,000.
These birds often nest in small groups, sometimes with avocets.
During breeding, parental investment is high from both male and female birds, with males devoting a significant amount of time to nest building and egg incubation. This parental team appears to be monogamous, as while the male stays behind to tend the nest, the foraging female remains faithful. The nest is either a depression in hard ground or arranged on a floating mass of vegetation, preferably situated with all-round visibility.
Habitat: The black-winged stilt can be found on the shores of large, inland water bodies and estuarine or coastal habitats. Its breeding habitat is typically freshwater or brackish (slightly salty) wetlands with a sand, mud or clay bed.
Distribution: The black-winged stilt is widespread and occurs across Asia, Africa, Europe and the United States.
Wikipedia, Black-winged stilt