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9

Pied Stilt

(Himantopus leucocephalus)
Alternate name(s): "White-headed Stilt"; (formerly "Black-winged Stilt")
Aboriginal name(s): "dit", "djandjarok", "djoka" (WA)

Size: 33-40 cm; wing span 67-83 cm
Weight: 135-290 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Pied Stilt at Wikipedia .

Click here for classification information

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

Sex unknown

Frontal view of an adult Pied Stilt
[Burren Junction Bore Bath, NSW, March 2015]

Frontal view of an adult Pied Stilt
[Goran Lake, NSW, August 2012]

Frontal view of an adult Pied Stilt
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2013]

Near-lateral view of an adult Pied Stilt
[Goran Lake, NSW, June 2011]

Near-lateral view of a Pied Stilt
[Burren Junction Bore Bath, NSW, March 2018]

Lateral view of an adult Pied Stilt wading through shallow water
[Goran Lake, NSW, August 2012]

Lateral view of an adult Pied Stilt
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2013]

Lateral view of an adult Pied Stilt (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Gwydir Wetlands near Moree, NSW, November 2012]

Adult Pied Stilt (left) now with an immature bird (right) wading through shallow water
[Goran Lake, NSW, June 2011]

Dorsal view of an adult Pied Stilt
[Goran Lake, NSW, August 2012]

Pied Stilt issuing a warning call
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, November 2014]

Frontal view of a Pied Stilt in flight
[Burren Junction Bore Bath, NSW, November 2017]

Close-up lateral view of an adult Pied Stilt in flight
[Burren Junction Bore Bath, NSW, December 2015]

Pied Stilts in flight; note that the legs of the immature birds are a bit paler than those of the adults
[Goran Lake, NSW, June 2011]

Pied Stilt in flight (right), compared with a Masked Lapwing (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Pied Stilt touching down
[Goran Lake, NSW, August 2012]

Pied Stilts on the point of landing (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)
[Near Moree, NSW, November 2012]

Long-range shot of about 45 Pied Stilts at Goran Lake
[Goran Lake, NSW, August 2011]

Dorsal view of an adult Pied Stilt taken in captivity

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of a juvenile Pied Stilt (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Murrumba Downs, near Brisbane, QLD, July 2017]

Two immature Pied Stilts in an ephemeral wetland
[Near Walgett, NSW, April 2009]

Immature Pied Stilt feeding in an ephemeral wetland, in this case a flooded grain field; the dark eyepatch clearly distinguishes this bird as a juvenile, although the legs are already turning red (click on image for a different posture)
[Near Walgett, NSW, April 2009]

Lateral view of a juvenile Pied Stilt in flight
[Warambah Dam, QLD, June 2017]

Pied Stilts "crossing a road" - immature on the left, adult on the right
[Burren Junction, NSW, December 2014]

Lateral view of two juvenile Pied Stilts; these birds were seen begging their parents for food
[Burren Junction, NSW, January 2016]

Two ca. one month old(?) Pied Stilt chicks on a mudflat (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Eastlakes Golf Course, Sydney, NSW, February 2018]

Pied Stilt with two chicks (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, January 2015]

Lateral view of a Pied Stilt chick (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, January 2015]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary/dispersive Elementary unit: Flock

Pied Stilt posturing to protect its young - no nest was found (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Gold Scrub Lane, Lake Samsonvale, QLD, December 2019]

Pied Stilts are usually "well-behaved" birds; however, this one was so cranky that it not only kept on calling an alarm...
[Burren Junction Bore Bath, NSW, December 2015]

... but actually had a serious go at a very young Grey Teal duckling, forcing it to dive for cover!
[Burren Junction Bore Bath, NSW, December 2015]

Food, Diet

Pied Stilt gobbling up its catch
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2015]

Pied Stilt gobbling up its catch, which looked like a small crustacean

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

blwstlt_20140523.mp3 (SE QLD) Contact call © MD
blwstlt_20151222_3.m4a (NW NSW) Contact calls © MD
blwstlt_20151219.m4a (NW NSW) Warning calls (pair) © MD
blwstlt_20151222_5.m4a (NW NSW) Warning calls (in-flight) © MD
blwstlt_20151222_7.m4a (NW NSW) Warning calls (in-flight) © MD
blwstlt_20151222_2.m4a (NW NSW) Upset (flock with Red-necked Avocet) © MD
blwstlt_20151222.m4a (NW NSW) Upset (flock with Red-necked Avocet) © MD

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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