The Black-necked Stilt (Himantopus leucocephalus) can be found throughout Australia except for the dry interior. Although it prefer shallow open freshwater areas, it can be found in most wetland areas, including seawater lagoons, swamps and sewage farms.

The Black-necked Stilt does have migratory habits within Australia, as in Victoria with some birds going north out of Victoria during winter or just following the rains. They can sometimes be seen with the Red-necked Avocet.

This long-legged wader in the avocet and stilt family (Recurvirostridae) includes the Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus). Whilst the scientific name H. himantopus was formerly applied to a single species, it now applies to the form that is widespread in Eurosiberia and Africa. There is five recognised subspecies, with the Australian one being H. h. leucocephalus.

Common name
Pied Stilt, White-necked Stilt, White-headed Stilt, Black-throated Stilt, Stilt-bird, Long-shanks, Stilt-Plover, Long-legged Plover, Dog-bird.

Images © Dorothy L


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Recurvirostridae
  • Genus: Himantopus
  • Species: H. leucocephalus
  • Binomial name: Himantopus leucocephalus
  • Synonyms: Himantopus himantopus leucocephalus

  • Subspecies:
    H. h. himantopus
    H. h. leucocephalus
    H. h. mexicanus
    H. h. melanurus
    H. h. knudseni