Black-necked Stilts Mating

Today, I spent a few hours at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge photographing a wide variety of birds to include Sandpipers, Plovers, Great Blue Herons, Great White Egrets, Red Herons, Tricolor Herons, Snowies, White Pelicans, as well as a few others to include Black-necked Stilts. I have yet to review and process any of these images, but did review and process a very special video that I am anxious to share.

While photographing a pair of Black-necked Stilts as they foraged in shallow water, they stopped and began a courtship ritual. Believing that I was about to witness them mating, I switched my Nikon D800 from shooting stills to video. My suspicion was correct. The male pranced around the female several times, while she maintained a rigid, forward looking stance until the mating had ended. Then, the two stilts walked away quickly and very closely together, appearing to be gazing into each others eyes.

Be sure to watch the video in the full screen mode.

I have a lot of image processing to do from other locations as well as Merritt Island, and will eventually upload them to my website and/or this blog, but I thought this video was worth posting by itself.

About Stephen L Tabone

Retired Executive Consultant and Nature Photographer
This entry was posted in Bird Photographs, Nature, Wildlife and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Black-necked Stilts Mating

  1. Pam says:

    Outstanding! I’ve never seen that display before – what a great day out!

  2. Ernie Sears says:

    Wow! What a great clip! You had to be so excited when they went into action. Technically excellent – you’re quickly getting very comfortable with the D800 video capabilities.

  3. krhee says:

    Oh, Wow!
    I have never seen black-necked stilts before, not to mention…
    It is fascinating the way they perform the intricate and beautiful mating ritual.
    Your D800 is doing a great job for you, Steve.
    Thanks for your wonderful post as usual.

  4. Evelyn says:

    WOW–you certainly were there at the right time–I am sure this is a rare photo that your fellow photographers are very envious about–this may be given an R rating —

  5. How beautiful these birds are (I’ve never seen them before) and I was mesmorized by the rippling water. Beautiful composition besides two beautiful birds and THEN the finale!!! R rating to be sure … LOL! You have incredible timing!

  6. LJ says:

    Great video. Amusing finale was as if they were saying “Can we have some privacy please :)”

  7. clover58 says:

    Amazing! I don’t think I’ve seen stilts before — or if I did, didn’t know what they were. Your video is beautiful; well done! You were “right place, right time” to get this one

    • Thank you for continuing to follow my blog and your comments. Key to nature photography is obviously being out in nature, timing and being prepared when the moment is right. That was definitely one of those moments.

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