While driving by a drained crawfish pond recently, I noticed many Black-necked Stilts foraging in the mud and patches of shallow water. In most of my past photos of Black-necked Stilts, they are wading in flooded ponds, so the bottom portion of their legs are not visible. This drained pond provided an opportunity for more complete portraits of the bird.
In most of the photos I took that day at the drained pond, the stilts’ feet were under either mud or very shallow water, the image immediately below being one example. This photo is one of the few in which the early morning sun was unobstructed and at an angle that gives a hint of the deep red color of the Black-necked Stilt’s eyes.
Watching this stilt for several seconds, I got a few shots of it lifting a mud-covered foot out of the muck. Here is one such photo.
I was attracted to another stilt nearby that was a bit closer to the camera. Because these birds are relatively small, an even shorter subject distance would be better, but that is prevented by the levee and tall grass over which I have to photograph pond inhabitants.
Like the bird above, this one gave me a few poses with a muddy foot.
Stilts have certainly been aptly named. I’ve read that the ratio of their leg length to body size is greater than any other bird group except flamingos.
Hover your mouse cursor over a marker in the map below to reveal a label indicating which photos were taken at that location.