Stilts and Avocets (Recurvirostridae)

Black-winged Stilt (Himantopus himantopus) - HBW 3, p. 345

French: Échasse blanche German: Stelzenläufer Spanish: Cigüeñuela Común
Other common names: Common Stilt; Pied/White-headed Stilt (leucocephalus); Hawaiian Stilt (knudseni); Black-necked Stilt (mexicanus); White-backed Stilt (melanurus)

Taxonomy: Charadrius Himantopus Linnaeus, 1758, southern Europe.
Forms superspecies with H. novaezelandiae, with which known to hybridize and which is sometimes considered conspecific. Races often considered to warrant recognition of 2-5 distinct species (see page 332). Races can be split into three groups: nominate race; “pied” race, leucocephalus; and “black-necked” races knudseni, mexicanus and melanurus. Geographical variation also claimed in southern Africa and Sri Lanka, in forms meridionalis and ceylonensis respectively, but both show considerable overlap with other populations of nominate .. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Charadrius Himantopus Linnaeus, 1758, southern Europe.
Forms superspecies with H. novaezelandiae, with which known to hybridize and which is sometimes considered conspecific. Races often considered to warrant recognition of 2-5 distinct species (see page 332). Races can be split into three groups: nominate race; “pied” race, leucocephalus; and “black-necked” races knudseni, mexicanus and melanurus. Geographical variation also claimed in southern Africa and Sri Lanka, in forms meridionalis and ceylonensis respectively, but both show considerable overlap with other populations of nominate himantopus. Five subspecies normally recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • himantopus (Linnaeus, 1758) - France and Iberia S to sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, and E to C Asia and NC China, Indian Subcontinent, Indochina and Taiwan.
  • leucocephalus Gould, 1837 - Java E to New Guinea, and S to Australia and New Zealand; winters N to Philippines, Greater Sundas and Sulawesi.
  • knudseni Stejneger, 1887 - Hawaiian Is.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • himantopus (Linnaeus, 1758) - France and Iberia S to sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, and E to C Asia and NC China, Indian Subcontinent, Indochina and Taiwan.
  • leucocephalus Gould, 1837 - Java E to New Guinea, and S to Australia and New Zealand; winters N to Philippines, Greater Sundas and Sulawesi.
  • knudseni Stejneger, 1887 - Hawaiian Is.
  • mexicanus (P. L. S. Müller, 1776) - W & S USA through Central America and West Indies to SW Peru, E Ecuador and NE Brazil.
  • melanurus Vieillot, 1817 - N Chile and EC Peru through Bolivia and Paraguay to SE Brazil, and S to SC Argentina.