You’ve got long legs!

DSCN7711This post was suggested by Christy of Verseherder. We were chatting about Stilts, one of my favourite waders and I happened to mention how many photographs I have of them, but then I realised I have hardly shared any of those photographs with you! I’ve posted about them before in Stilts of Olhao, but that was so long ago and I have so many more photographs to share. So today I thought I’d share a few more. Thanks again Christy!


The Portuguese call Black-Winged Stilts ‘pernilonga’ which is such as appropriate name as they really must be in the top 3 for waders with the longest legs!


They eat mainly insects and crustaceans, spending their summers in marshes, ponds and shallow lakes and their winters on the coasts. We have seen them year round in Olhão and with the exception of the two nesting all of these photographs were taken in Olhão. Generally we see around half dozen at any one time but their numbers increased significantly during the migratory period as the migrating populations headed north. You can’t miss them; they are unmistakable with the long pink legs, black wings, while necks and noisy calls. To hear their call check out the excellent Aves de Portugal site.

The slight variation you are seeing in the black in these photographs reflects adults versus juveniles, and winter versus summer plumage. Ones you will see in Europe are all of the same species. There is a lack of agreement on whether the ones since elsewhere across the world are the same species or whether there are sub-species, but I’m not going to talk about that nor their Latin name as it is all terribly complicated! If you want to know more though about their taxonomy then I suggest you start with the wikipedia entry.

Portugal 601

Author: BeckyB

It had been a good life walking, cooking, photographing, volunteering, blogging, and best of all spending time with MrB, family, & friends. Sadly it no longer is. Suddenly and unexpectedly I have become a widow.

15 thoughts

  1. Great photos… I’ve only ever seen pictures of stilts in books before, and I had no idea their legs were that long! They look like they’ve been borrowed from another bird! Thanks for sharing 😀

  2. Exactly they are so beautiful. These long legs standing so artistic 🙂 Creator is amazing and should be an artist. You are welcome and Thank you, love, nia

  3. I love to see these long legged fellows. They are difficult in most places to find especially around our city life here. I go out to the wetlands or ponds and sometimes I can see a few. They just seem so elegant with their longer legs and longer beaks. Thank you for sharing…nice pics of them.

    1. They are also difficult to find in England! In fact I’ve never seen them in England, and it is only in the last year or so that a few have begun breeding again here. One of the reasons we love the Algarve is that we see so many birds there.
      I agree they are very elegant, their call though is a bit harsh!

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