View Full Version : Black-necked Stilt Fight

Alison McCoy
04-30-2015, 06:51 PM
I was hanging out this morning at a pond which is a popular water hole for wild horses. I was hoping to catch stallions fighting as this is the time of year for it. Never thought I would catch this rather violent confrontation between Stilts. If you look closely you can see that one has actually pierced the neck of the other with it's long sharp beak.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7678/17138488708_2e31510cd8_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/s7teAC)

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8879/16703821474_f537ea5fd9_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/rs4saY)

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7795/17326290525_b82a7dc774_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/sp4LwZ)

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7662/17138728590_9625321652_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/s7usUw)

https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8829/17324426722_2ae5faf502_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/soUdus)

Canon 7D MarkII Canon 100-400mm II
ISO 250

Allen Sparks
04-30-2015, 10:15 PM
Hi Alison,

These shots definitely tell an intriguing story and I'm also surprised at the violent behavior you have captured so well. I wonder if that is the female laying low as the males fight each other.


Alison McCoy
04-30-2015, 10:59 PM
Thank you Allen. It most likely is (explaining the altercation) though with Stilts the males and females look alike so can't say for sure. Thanks for looking and commenting. :S3:

Gabriela Plesea
05-02-2015, 11:59 AM
Hello Alison,

This is AWESOME! And a warm welcome to Story Sequences, by the way!

I am very taken with your capture - what a lovely surprise and I thank you for sharing this with us - me thinking those are two males competing over a female?

Cannot say which image I prefer because I really like them all, never seen such behaviour in avian species and tonight I have been staring for quite some time at frame no 2...clearly one of the males got the other - literally- by the neck, and holds him in his scissor-sharp beak! Looks like a dangerous encounter and you captured this beautifully... Also interesting that, despite the seriousness of the fight, the two protagonists of the scene appear to be dancing this perilous tango and there's something elegant and so attractive in their movements.

Truly a delightful sequence with an interesting behavioural aspect and one does not often have opportunity to capture something as unique as this. Should you wish to take this further in terms of processing I think it is really worth putting in some more time and effort, I am sure there are birding magazines out there who would love to publish this:w3

Wonderful work, thank you once again Alison -and congratulations!

Kind regards,

Jackie Schuknecht
05-02-2015, 08:03 PM
Wow, I thought frame two they were almost making up, but that is where the neck gets pierced. Great action, beautiful colours.

Alison McCoy
05-04-2015, 07:36 AM
Thanks for the welcome and wonderfully kind comments Gabriela and Jackie!

Gabriela Plesea
05-05-2015, 02:31 PM
You have captured something truly special, Alison:5

Diane Miller
05-09-2015, 09:12 PM
Great shots of amazing behavior!

Alison McCoy
05-12-2015, 10:13 PM
Thanks Diane!