Black Stilt or Kakī (Māori)

The Black Stilt or Kakī (Māori), Himantopus novaezelandiae, is a large wader.

Distribution / Range

The species is endemic to New Zealand.

It breeds in the upper Waitaki Valley in the South Island. Small numbers of them overwinter in the North Island.

They are of breeding age when they are about 2 to 3 years old.


Adults measure about 40 cm in length..

They have very long red legs, a long thin black bill and black plumage.

Juveniles can be identified by the white chest, neck and head. They have a black patch around the eyes.

Black Stilt
Black Stilts
Photo of author

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