Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Black-winged stilt

In Thai: นกตีนเทียน, nok teen thien

Binomial name: Himantopus himantopus, Carolus Linnaeus, 1758

The black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus) is a widely distributed very long-legged wader in the avocet and stilt family (Recurvirostridae). The scientific name H. himantopus was formerly applied to a single, almost cosmopolitan species. It is now normally applied to the form that is widespread in Eurosiberia and Africa and which was formerly regarded as the nominate subspecies of Himantopus himantopus sensu lato. The scientific name Himantopus comes from the Greek meaning "strap foot" or "thong foot". Most sources today accept 2–4 species. It is sometimes called pied stilt, but that name is now reserved for the Australian species, Himantopus leucocephalus.

Description

Adults are 33 – 36 cm long. They have long pink legs, a long thin black bill and are blackish above and white below, with a white head and neck with a varying amount of black. Males have a black back, often with greenish gloss. Females' backs have a brown hue, contrasting with the black remiges. In the populations that have the top of the head normally white at least in winter, females tend to have less black on head and neck all year round, while males often have much black, particularly in summer. This difference is not clear-cut, however, and males usually get all-white heads in winter.

Immature birds are grey instead of black and have a markedly sandy hue on the wings, with light feather fringes appearing as a whitish line in flight.

Taxonomy and systematics

The taxonomy of this bird is still somewhat contentious. It is one of five distinct species which were previously considered subspecies of H. himantopus. H. himantopus sensu lato, is made up of one species and 5–7 subspecies, and was sometimes referred to as common stilt. The name black-winged stilt refers to H. himantopus sensu stricto, with two subspecies H.h. himantopus from the Palearctic and H.h. meridionalis from the Afrotropical region.

Ecology and status

The breeding habitat of all these stilts is marshes, shallow lakes and ponds. Some populations are migratory and move to the ocean coasts in winter; those in warmer regions are generally resident or short-range vagrants. In Europe, the black-winged stilt is a regular spring overshoot vagrant north of its normal range, occasionally remaining to breed in northern European countries. Pairs have successfully bred in Britain in 1987, and after a 27-year hiatus, two instances of successful breeding in Southern England in 2014. 13 young were fledged in southern England in 2017.

These birds pick up their food from sand or water. They mainly eat insects and crustaceans.

The nest site is a bare spot on the ground near water. These birds often nest in small groups, sometimes with avocets.

The black-winged stilt is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds applies.

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Charadriiformes
Family
Recurvirostridae
Genus
Himantopus
Species
Himantopus himantopus

Common names

  • Thai: นกตีนเทียน, nok teen thien

Synonyms

  • Himantopus leucocephalus, John Gould (1837)
  • Himantopus mexicanus, Philipp Ludwig Statius Müller (1776)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range Map

Distribution map of Black-winged stilt, Himantopus himantopus in Thailand
  • Amphawa District, Samut Songkhram
  • Ao Phang-Nga National Park
  • Ban Khai District, Rayong
  • Ban Laem District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Lat District, Phetchaburi
  • Ban Lueam District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Ban Phai District, Khon Kaen
  • Ban Phraek District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Ban Pong District, Ratchaburi
  • Ban Sang District, Prachinburi
  • Bang Ban District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Len District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Bang Pa In District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pahan District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Bang Pakong District, Chachoengsao
  • Bang Phra Non-Hunting Area
  • Bang Pu Recreation Centre
  • Bangkok Province
  • Borabue District, Maha Sarakham
  • Bueng Boraped Non-Hunting Area
  • Bueng Boraphet Non-Hunting Area
  • Bueng Khong Long Non-Hunting Area
  • Chaiya District, Surat Thani
  • Chaiyo District, Ang Thong
  • Chatturat District, Chaiyaphum
  • Chiang Dao District, Chiang Mai
  • Chiang Dao Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Chiang Khong District, Chiang Rai
  • Chiang Saen District, Chiang Rai
  • Chum Ta Bong District, Nakhon Sawan
  • Doi Lo District, Chiang Mai
  • Doi Pha Hom Pok National Park
  • Doi Suthep-Pui National Park
  • Erawan National Park
  • Fang District, Chiang Mai
  • Hat Noppharat Thara - Mu Ko Phi Phi National Park
  • Hat Yai District, Songkhla
  • Huai Chorakhe Mak Reservoir Non-Hunting Area
  • Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Huai Talat Reservoir Non-Hunting Area
  • In Buri District, Sing Buri
  • Kabin Buri District, Prachinburi
  • Kaeng Khoi District, Saraburi
  • Kaeng Krachan District, Phetchaburi
  • Kaeng Krachan National Park
  • Kamphaeng Saen District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Kantharawichai District, Maha Sarakham
  • Khao Nang Panthurat Forest Park
  • Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park
  • Khao Yai National Park
  • Khao Yoi District, Phetchaburi
  • Khemarat District, Ubon Ratchathani
  • Khlong Luang District, Pathum Thani
  • Khon San District, Chaiyaphum
  • Khuan Khanun District, Phatthalung
  • Klaeng District, Rayong
  • Ko Libong
  • Ko Sichang District, Chonburi
  • Kui Buri National Park
  • Kumphawapi District, Udon Thani
  • Kut Thing Non-Hunting Area
  • Laem Pak Bia
  • Lan Sak District, Uthai Thani
  • Mae Ai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Rim District, Chiang Mai
  • Mae Taeng District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Buriram District, Buriram
  • Mueang Chachoengsao District, Chachoengsao
  • Mueang Chiang Mai District, Chiang Mai
  • Mueang Chiang Rai District, Chiang Rai
  • Mueang Chonburi District, Chonburi
  • Mueang Kalasin District, Kalasin
  • Mueang Khon Kaen District, Khon Kaen
  • Mueang Krabi District, Krabi
  • Mueang Lampang District, Lampang
  • Mueang Lopburi District, Lopburi
  • Mueang Nakhon Nayok District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Mueang Nakhon Pathom District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Mueang Nakhon Ratchasima District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Mueang Nakhon Si Thammarat District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Mueang Nonthaburi District, Nonthaburi
  • Mueang Pattani District, Pattani
  • Mueang Phang Nga District, Phang Nga
  • Mueang Phatthalung District, Phatthalung
  • Mueang Phetchabun District, Phetchabun
  • Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi
  • Mueang Phichit District, Phichit
  • Mueang Phitsanulok District, Phitsanulok
  • Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Mueang Ratchaburi District, Ratchaburi
  • Mueang Sa Kaeo District, Sa Kaeo
  • Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon
  • Mueang Samut Songkhram District, Samut Songkhram
  • Mueang Songkhla District, Songkhla
  • Mueang Sukhothai District, Sukhothai
  • Mueang Suphanburi District, Suphan Buri
  • Mueang Surin District, Surin
  • Mueang Tak District, Tak
  • Mueang Trat District, Trat
  • Mueang Uttaradit District, Uttaradit
  • Nam Nao National Park
  • Non Thai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Nong Bong Khai Non-Hunting Area
  • Nong Han Lake
  • Nong Song Hong District, Khon Kaen
  • Nong Suea District, Pathum Thani
  • Nong Ya Plong District, Phetchaburi
  • Nong Yai Area Development Project Under Royal Init
  • Pa Sak Chonlasit Dam Non-Hunting Area
  • Pak Chong District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pak Phanang District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Pak Phli District, Nakhon Nayok
  • Pak Thale
  • Pak Tho District, Ratchaburi
  • Pak Thong Chai District, Nakhon Ratchasima
  • Pha Taem National Park
  • Phanat Nikhom District, Chonburi
  • Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Phra Phrom District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Phutthamonthon District, Nakhon Pathom
  • Pran Buri District, Prachuap Khiri Khan
  • Pran Buri Forest Park
  • Rattanawapi District, Nong Khai
  • Sai Noi District, Nonthaburi
  • Sakaerat Environmental Research Station
  • Samut Prakan Province
  • San Sai District, Chiang Mai
  • Sanam Bin Reservoir Non-Hunting Area
  • Sanam Chai Khet District, Chachoengsao
  • Sankhaburi District, Chainat
  • Sathing Phra District, Songkhla
  • Satuek District, Buriram
  • Sawi District, Chumphon
  • Si Satchanalai District, Sukhothai
  • Song Phi Nong District, Suphan Buri
  • Taphan Hin District, Phichit
  • Tha Sala District, Nakhon Si Thammarat
  • Tha Takiap District, Chachoengsao
  • Tha Yang District, Phetchaburi
  • Thale Noi Non-Hunting Area
  • Thanyaburi District, Pathum Thani
  • Thap Lan National Park
  • Wang Chan District, Rayong
  • Wang Noi District, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
  • Wat Phai Lom & Wat Ampu Wararam Non-Hunting Area
  • Wiang Kaen District, Chiang Rai
Range map of Himantopus himantopus in Thailand