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Black winged Stilt I MG 9747.jpg
Adult H. h. himantopus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Subclass: Neornithes
Infraclass: Neognathae
Superorder: Neoaves
Order: Charadriiformes
Suborder: Charadrii
Family: Recurvirostridae
Genus: Himantopus and Cladorhynchus
Brisson, 1760

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 Greek meaning "strap-leg".[1]


A fossil stilt has been described 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.