Beyond the BackyardDigital ArtMerritt Island National Wildlife Refuge

Life on Stilts at MINWR

Can you imagine going through life with ridiculously long red legs?

It’s not often that I devote a Beyond The Backyard blog post exclusively to one bird.  But after spending the morning at the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, I had a ton of great images of Black-Necked Stilts.  They are all over!

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt

I found a nest that was very close to the trail.  When I first arrived, one bird was sitting on the nest, and the other was close by.  I was so excited to find such a photographable nest that I stayed there for a long time, before realizing that if I drove the car up just a little more, around a bend, then I could get the best sun angle.  Oh well.  Live and learn.

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt

I sorta liked this pose from the less-than-optimal light angle, but the colors in the original shot were fairly poor.  Then I realized that it was a good silhouette image and a candidate for Fractalius.  So I experimented some and came up with this image (the pattern in the background is because I’m using the free download version):

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt

I liked this pose of the bird stretching his wings, and I like the symmetry of the diagonal mudflat showing through the water.  (The water was waaaay low today.  We need rain so badly!!)

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt

Each time I’m out with Dyeyo photographing stilts, he reminds me that he was able to get closer to them at the Circle B Bar Reserve.  So I chuckled and thought of him as this guy let me drive right up next to him to get this head shot:

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-Necked Stilt

I took a little video of the stilt tending to her nest.  With her long legs, she’s a little awkward as she gets up and down from the nest.  But I laughed out loud when I watched her use her folded-up legs behind her to turn the eggs.  She’s not exactly graceful, but she’s effective!

Cross your fingers — hopefully there will be babies next weekend when I go back! :)

3 thoughts on “Life on Stilts at MINWR

  1. Merritt Island NWR is such a wonderful birding location! I am a new birder/Floridian, and just found your blog and love it! Keep up the good work!

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