Ian’s Bird of the Week – Black Stilt ~ by Ian Montgomery
Newsletter – 11/15/11
You’ve done it again! Your collective goodwill and spiritual energy have provided yet another special, this time very special bird, the critically endangered and recently saved from extinction Black Stilt. I did have to do a little work as well to find a couple in their favoured habitat of often inaccessible, so-called braided rivers of the South Island. At the second potential site, see photo, the task seemed impossible – that’s all river bed between the foreground and the mountains – and I almost gave up.
Glad to see the Lord answers prayers. (See Addition – NZ/Australasian Shoveler) What a neat bird, glad you found it and didn’t give up. With them so few in numbers, that is a Great Catch!
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. (Proverbs 8:17 KJV)
The Black Stilt is in the Recurviostridae Family of the Charadriiformes Order. There are 6 Stilts and 4 Avocets. Check out Ian’s Recurviostridae photos.
“Avocets and stilts range in length from 30 to 46 centimetres (12 to 18 in) and in weight from 140 to 435 grams (4.9 to 15.3 oz); males are usually slightly bigger than females. All possess long, thin legs, necks, and bills. The bills of avocets are curved upwards, and are swept from side to side when the bird is feeding in the brackish or saline wetlands they prefer. The bills of stilts, in contrast, are straight. The front toes are webbed, partially in most stilts, fully in avocets and the Banded Stilt, which swim more. The majority of species’ plumage has contrasting areas of black and white, with some species having patches of buff or brown on the head or chest. The sexes are similar.” (Wikipedia)