130 Black-winged Stilt
(Himantopus himantopus)


33-36cm. Extraordinarily elegant wader; unmistakable, with needle-fine, straight bill, amazingly long reddish-pink legs, and black and white plumage. In flight, head and legs extended, giving bizarrely elongated outline. All-black underwing and flicking wing action with quite pointed wings add to distinctive appearance. Adult: male readily told by whole upperparts green-glossed black. Female has glossy brown mantle and scapulars forming brown saddle that contrasts with black wings. male averages more black on head than female, but much overlap and head and neck pattern not safe difference between sexes.


The Black-winged Stilt is a regular breeder in Hungary, in small numbers. In years with an average amount of rainwater it breeds near Lake Fertő, on sedimentation ponds of Transdanubia and all across of the Great Plain (especially on the southern part of the Great Plain, as well as the Kiskunság, Bihar Plain, Hortobágy and the Hajdúság). In wet weather the population may dramatically increase. Primarily occupies alkali lakes and temporary flooded wetlands but can breed on sedimentation ponds, sewage ponds and even flooded agricultural fields. It usually breeds individually or in loose colonies of a few pairs. Migrant. It returns to Hungary in late March or in April and leaves in August and September.

Can be found in the following IBAs

07 BA)

130 Black-winged Stilt pic

© Graphics by Szabolcs Kókay

Source: 1) Lovászi Péter (editor): Javasolt különleges madárvédelmi területek Magyarországon, Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2002; 2) BirdLife International:IUCN Red List for birds. Species factsheet; 3) Králl Attila, Nagy Károly: Fontos Madárélőhelyek Magyarországon (Területek, kritériumok és minősítő fajok) MME Monitoring Központ, 2007; 4) Szabolcs Kókay bird illustrations; 5) www.hungarianbirdwatching.com bird descriptions and checklists, 2004-2012; 6) Lars Svensson et al.: Collins Bird Guide: The Most Complete Guide to the Birds of Britain and Europe 2nd Edition, Harper Collins, 2010; 7) MME Nomenclator Bizottság: Nomenclator avium Hungariae. An annotated list of the birds of Hungary. Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület, 2008