Black-necked Stilt

Himantopus mexicanus




Avocets and Stilts (Recurvirostridae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Yellow or buff blotched with black or brown.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

22 - 25

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

LIned with stems, weeds, sticks, grasses, fragments of shells, small rocks, fish bones, and rubbish.


Most migrate



Black-necked Stilt: Large shorebird with sharply contrasting black upperparts and white underparts. Bill is long, thin and upcurved. Legs are extremely long and red-pink. Female is similar but with brown-tinged upperparts. Juvenile appears grizzled with white-tipped feathers on head and shoulders.

Range and Habitat

Black-necked Stilt: Breeds along coasts from Oregon and Delaware southward, and locally in western interior states east to Idaho, Kansas, and Texas. Spends winters along the Pacific coast north to central California, Florida, and other Gulf coast states. Preferred habitats include salt marshes, shallow coastal bays, and freshwater marshes.

Breeding and Nesting

Black-necked Stilt: Three to five brown-spotted, yellow or buff eggs are laid in a shallow ground depression lined with grass or shell fragments, usually in a marsh; nests in loose colonies. Incubation ranges from 22 to 25 days and is carried out by both parents.

Foraging and Feeding

Black-necked Stilt: Feeds on tadpoles, mollusks, water beetles and other aquatic insects, snails, small fish, flying insects, and seeds.


Black-necked Stilt: Song is a sharp "kip-kip-kip-kip."

Similar Species

Black-necked Stilt: American Avocet is larger, and has white on back, dark legs, and rust-brown or gray on head and neck.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X