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Birds MG 8546 (6512014907).jpg
Adult H. h. himantopus
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Recurvirostridae
Genus: Himantopus
Brisson, 1760
Type species
Charadrius himantopus
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Stilt is a common name for several species of birds in the family Recurvirostridae, which also includes those known as avocets. They are found in brackish or saline wetlands in warm or hot climates.

They have extremely long legs, hence the group name, and long thin bills. Stilts typically feed on aquatic insects and other small creatures and nest on the ground surface in loose colonies.

Most sources recognize 6 species in 2 genera, although the white-backed and Hawaiian stilts are occasionally considered subspecies of the black-necked stilt. The generic name Himantopus comes from the Ancient Greek meaning "strap-leg".[1]


A fossil stilt has been described by Bickart, 1990, as Himantopus olsoni, based on remains recovered in the Late Miocene Big Sandy Formation of Wickieup, United States.

Media related to Stilt at Wikimedia Commons


  1. ^ Jobling, James (2010). Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Helm. p. 191. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.