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BLACK-NECKED STILT Black-Necked Stilt

  • Published Saturday, June 29, 2013, at 4:03 p.m.

Himantopus mexicanus

These birds may not have that much black on their necks, but they surely do have a lot of stilts on their legs. They’re one of the few birds in Kansas you just can’t confuse with another.

Stilts were one of many species of shorebirds nearly shot to extinction in the early 1900s because their plumage was deemed fashionable attached to women’s hats. Fortunately, the government eventually stopped such shooting and most of the birds have made nice comebacks.

A drive around the wildlife drive at the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge has been providing dozens of stilt viewing opportunities within the past few weeks. If you go, roll your window down and listen if you stop near the birds. Their alarm calls are almost as memorable as their legs.

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