“In January 2013, I spent some time at the Estuary of Avon/Heathcote (South Island, New Zealand) to admire the avifauna here, including a handful of Pied Stilts (Himantopus leucocephalus, Maori name: Poaka) (above).

“When the tide was out, they would wade through the shallow waters to pick out tiny morsels with their delicate, forceps-like bill (above). Occasionally, polychaete worms would be detected, extracted, and after a quick rinse to remove the mud, swiftly swallowed.

“A brief video clip of its feeding activity may be previewed above.

“In between feeding bouts, the Pied Stilt made conscious efforts to preen itself and keep its feathers in optimum condition (above).

“A brief video clip of its preening activity may be previewed above.”

Dr. Leong Tzi Ming
17th February 2013


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