Thursday, May 30, 2013

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) from Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, one of the must-visit birding hot spots in USA! Black-necked Stilt has the second-longest legs in proportion to the bodily length of any bird, exceeds only by flemingos. They live in shallow wetlands from western United States to central America. You might spot them in the east coast and southern Florida in summer.  They migrate to their breeding ground from March to May, lay eggs on ground and migrate back to central and southern America in the late July.  

Black-necked Stilt. Photographed in Merritt Island NWR, Florida. Click image to enlarge.

Black-necked Stilts are wetland specialists. They probe aquatic invertebrates from shallow water. They also eat small fish and tadpoles. They are vulnerable to pesticide and polluted runoff and have somewhat declined in the 20th century.  Due to conservation enthusiasts, their populations have been stable and slightly increased. I photographed this bird from car window. After shutting off car engine, all I had to do was to enjoy the show. Let nature amuse our sense of wonder :)  ..Happy birding! - Linda

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