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Common name Black-winged stilt
Scientific name Himantopus himantopus
Type Waterbirds
Status Resident

Unmistakable mid-size wader bird (approx 36 cm or 14 in) with a graceful aspect. It looks like a miniature stork. Very long, red legs. Black wings and upperparts (brown in females) and white rest of the body. Long, black bill. Males with black nape and sides of the head. In females the head is entirely white. Very distinctive silhouette in flight, with stretched neck and legs. When perched it moves with large steps and a graceful movement of legs.



Where it lives

Wetlands with open banks, shallow waters, both sweet and brackish, shores with marsh vegetation and high productivity. Reluctant to coasts.

How it lives

Species resident in the province, although there is replacement of summer individuals by wintering ones. Nest in depression of the ground on the shore of the wetland or islets. One laying in April of 3 to 5 eggs. The Black-Winged Stilt captures aquatic invertebrates in the mud as well as amphibians and their larvae and small fish. It also forages among the vegetation on the banks.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Frequent and abundant species that can be watched in the mouth of the Guadalhorce and in the Fuente de Piedra and Campillos lagoons. On migration it can be seen along almost the entire coast, flying low and in flocks that are sometimes formed by a large number of individuals.

Curious facts

The Latin name of the stilt refers to its long legs and to a curiosity. It only has three toes and between them a small interdigital membrane, something rare among waders. It is an adaptation to obtain more stability in the muddy bottoms. It also allows them to swim as if they were ducks.

Wintering Summer Resident Migration