Physical characteristics: The black-winged stilt has long pink legs and a straight or upwardly curved black bill. In the male, the back and wings are black, the belly is white, and the tail is marked with gray bands. Females have dullish brown backs. The color of the head and neck varies in black-winged stilts from white to black.
Geographic range: The black-winged stilt is widely distributed and occurs on all continents except Antarctica.
Habitat: Black-winged stilts occupy wetland habitats including marshes, swamps, lakeshores, river-edges, and flooded fields.
Diet: Black-winged stilts eat aquatic insects, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, small fish, and tadpoles. They sometimes forage, or search for food, at night, particularly when there is no moon and therefore little light.
Behavior and reproduction: Black-winged stilts can be found in large flocks of as many as several thousand individuals. They have a display where they leap up and then float down, but it is not known what the purpose of the display is. Their call is described as a sharp "yep" sound.
Black-winged stilts and people: No significant interactions between black-winged stilts and people are known.
Conservation status: The black-winged stilt is not considered threatened globally, but the Hawaiian subspecies is considered Endangered. There are about 1,800 individuals left in the wild. ■
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