“I have never before seen the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus himantopus) takes a fish. Spotted this adult with a fish he had foraged (above). The bird proceeded to ‘wash’ the fish a number of times before feeding (below). It even ‘lost’ the prey twice In the process but got it back (one post shows the fish slipping out: above-right).
“Looked up the literature on its diet.
Dostin (1989) from Australia gives a summary of the literature. I however do not like their methods. They shot 21 birds to obtain their data.
They found remains of fish in 6 birds. Pierce (1985, 1986) from New Zealand reported small fish as prey. Hamilton (1975) from North America has also reported fish as part of the diet.“
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh City, Perak, Malaysia
1st September 2013
Location: Malim Nawar Wetlands, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Extensive ex-tin mining area with extensive pond/lakes, wetlands, fish farming .
1. Dostin, Mort (1989). Food of the Black-winged Stilt Himantopus himantopus in the Alligator Rivers Region, Northern Territory. Emu 89: 250-253.
Hamilton, R.B. (1975). Comparative behaviour of the American Avocet and the Black-necked Stilt (Recurvirostridae). OrnithoL Monogr. 17: 1-98.
2. Pierce, R.J. (1985). Feeding methods of stilts (Himantopus spp.). N Z . J. Zool. 12: 467-472.
3. Pierce, R.J. (1986). Foraging responses of stilts (Himantopus spp.: Aves) to changes in behaviour and abundance of their riverbed prey. N.Z 1 Mar. Freshw. Res 20: 17-28.