Black-stilt Wading Bird

The Himantopus novaezelandiae (scientific name) or black-stilt is the world’s rarest wading bird, found only in New Zealand. Also known as kaki, there are only 60 odd birds remaining. Not more than 19 inches in length, this bird is unique with its all black plumage, fine black beak and long red legs. These birds use their beaks to look for food under stones in muddy waters. Their diet consists of small water invertebrates, fish and mollusks. Monogamous breeders, an average clutch-size has 4 eggs, in nests which are made in the depressions in the ground and lined with twigs and leaves. The parents take turns to incubate the eggs. Approximate incubation period is 25 days. Its IUCN listing is CRITICALLY ENDANGERED.

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