Hawaiian Stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni), Ka'elepulu Wetlands, O'ahu, Hawaii. This slender, endemic wading bird stands 16 inches tall. The black back is glossy in males and brown-tinged in females. The Hawaiian Stilt flies with its long pink legs stretched out straight behind. It feeds on water insects, worms, crabs, small fish and the seeds and roots of waterplants. The Hawaiian Stilt is a endangered species. Up untill 1941 it was hunted for sport; it now numbers around 1,500 birds. Like all of Hawaii's endangered waterbirds, a major cause of its decline has been habitat destruction due to drainage of marshes and wetlands.
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