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Black-necked stilt

Himantopus mexicanus


Stilts use a technique called "belly-soaking" which is the transport of water in the ventral feathers. In hot climates adults use belly soaking to cool themselves, the eggs or chicks, and to increase nest humidity. Stilts may make over 100 trips for water a day. The birds distract predators using aerial maneuvers and mock injuries while the young hide. Incredibly, they are also able to swim for short periods of time using their wings. Shorebirds, including the black-necked stilt, embark on one of the longest migrations of any North American birds, journeying from arctic nesting grounds to winter in Central and South America. Many species travel more than 15,000 miles round-trip and fly at altitudes exceeding 10,000 feet at 50 mph.

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Spotted by

Spotted on May 12, 2015
Submitted on Nov 8, 2015

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