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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beautiful Black-necked Stilts have just arrived!

Black-necked Stilt, male

Black-necked Stilt

Black-necked Stilt, preening

Black-necked Stilt, female

Black-necked Stilts have just arrived here on Sanibel, FL and elsewhere. Such a beautiful shorebird! The male has a jet black back and female has a more brownish back. Their most outstanding feature is the bubble-gum-pink long legs which enable this bird to wade out into deeper water to get insects off the water surface. Stilts are mostly coastal in eastern and Gulf states but can be found on inland lakes and marshes of the Midwest and West. The nest is a scrape or mound of vegetation placed near water. The female lays 3-4 eggs and incubation takes 25 days. When the young hatch they are fully feathered and can feed themselves, the parents job is mainly to protect them. By the way, if you want to know this type of breeding and nesting information, which is great to know to enjoy birds more, you  should pick up a copy of our new The Stokes Essential Pocket Guide to the Birds of North America, it has all that information as well as all new photos and great ID info. Available now at online booksellers, bookstores and wild bird stores (just ask.)

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