Black-necked Stilts – very protective parents

fullsizeoutput_3162This delicate adult Black-necked Stilt strolls around the shallow pond, keeping an eye on his last remaining chick. fullsizeoutput_3163As I watched, this little one keep toddling off while his watchful parent kept ‘herding’ him back to a safer space.fullsizeoutput_3164The Stilts build their nests in what would seem to be the most vulnerable of places, on ‘bare open ground near water, with little vegetation.’ (Audubon)fullsizeoutput_315fAlthough the chicks are precocial, and can leave the nest within hours of hatching, the vigilant parents remain nearby.  When other birds come too close, the parents become agitated and very noisy, yapping loudly to ward off potential intruders.

“An anti-predator display called ‘the popcorn display’ consists of a group of adults encircling a ground predator and hopping side to side while flapping their wings.” (BirdWeb)fullsizeoutput_315cFun fact about Black-necked Stilts:  ‘They have the second-longest legs in proportion to their bodies of any bird, exceeded only by flamingos.’ (All About Birds)! fullsizeoutput_3155I love this description of the Black-necked Stilt on eBird!!:  ‘Elegant shorebird with exceptionally long legs. Walks gracefully on bright pink chopsticks.’ 

28 thoughts on “Black-necked Stilts – very protective parents

  1. I can see why you like the chopsticks description. As for the word stilt, we might wonder which meaning came first: the long-legged bird or the wooden pole a person uses to get higher off the ground. Turns out the ‘pole, crutch’ sense goes back to the 1300s, while the first attested use of the word to describe this bird dates back only to 1831.

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