Adults have long pink legs. They are white below and have black wings and backs. The tail is white with some grey banding. A continuous area of black extends from the back along the hindneck to the head. There, it forms a cap covering the entire head from the top to just below eye-level and a small white spot above the eye.. Males develop a greenish gloss to the back and wings, during the breeding season whereas females have a brown tinge in these areas instead.

Habitat and Distribution

This bird is abundant in the San Joaquin Valley, during winter. From April to September it is common in southern California. It is found in estuarine, lacustrine, salt pond and emergent wetland habitats; generally it is a lowland bird. The bird breeds along lake shores in northeastern California and southeastern Oregon and along the Colorado River. In North America outside California, Arizona along lakes and drainage basins as well.


It forages by probing and gleaning primarily in mudflats and lakeshores seeking mainly crustaceans, mollusks, athropods and small fish.


Mudflats, ridges and lacustrine verges are chosen for nest locations. Breeding occurs from late April to August in North America. The clutch size is 3-5 eggs and incubation takes 22-26 days.

Calls and Songs

The black-necked stilts call goes like ` kip-kip-kip-kip`.