Photographed in beautiful Anahuac NWR
Black-necked Stilts are among the most stately of the shorebirds, with long rose-pink legs, a long thin black bill, and elegant black-and-white plumage that make them unmistakable at a glance. They move deliberately when foraging, walking slowly through wetlands in search of tiny aquatic prey. When disturbed, stilts are vociferous, to put it mildly, and their high, yapping calls carry for some distance.
Five species of rather similar-looking stilts are recognized in the genus Himantopus. They have the second-longest legs in proportion to their bodies of any bird, exceeded only by flamingos.
The Hawaiian subspecies of Black-necked Stilt (knudseni) has the black of its neck reaching much farther forward than the mainland forms. Habitat loss and hunting led to a sharp decline in its numbers. The few freshwater wetlands found on the Hawaiian Islands are its main habitat. Its name in the Hawaiian language is Aeo, which means "one standing tall.”
Black-necked stilts sometimes participate in a "popcorn display,” which involves a group of birds gathering around a ground predator and jumping, hopping, or flapping to drive it away from their nests.
The oldest recorded Black-necked Stilt was at least 12 years, 5 months old. it was banded in Venezuela and refound in the Lesser Antilles.
Photographed on the Texas City Dike.
North America's largest shorebird, the Long-billed Curlew, is a graceful creature with an almost impossibly long, thin, and curved bill. This speckled, cinnamon-washed shorebird probes deep into mud and sand for aquatic invertebrates on its coastal wintering grounds and picks up grasshoppers on the breeding grounds. It breeds in the grasslands of the Great Plains and Great Basin and spends the winter in wetlands, tidal estuaries, mudflats, flooded fields, and beaches.
Male and female Long-billed Curlews look pretty much alike, but females have a longer bill with a more pronounced curve at the tip than males.
The Long-billed Curlew's genus name, Numenius, means “of the new moon,” and describes the slender, curved shape of the bird’s bill.
Male and female Long-billed Curlews incubate the eggs and care for the brood. The female typically abandons the brood 2–3 weeks after hatching, leaving her mate to care for the young. Despite the split, the pair may breed together again the following year.