Identification: Both in flight and at rest the long red legs are characteristic, but even if these are hidden in water of unknown depth, the pure white underparts and jet-black upperparts are distinctive enough. The amount of dark feathering on the otherwise white head doesn't necessarily indicate the sex of a stilt although young birds always have smoky patterning on the head.
Habitat: Breeds around shallow wetlands, especially coastal lagoons, saltpans and estuaries.
Ditribution: Annual vagrant to the UK, mostly to south and east coasts. Some birds do stay for very long periods of time, including an individual that has been resident at Titchwell on the north Norfolk coast for over two years and was still present in November 1996. There are 300 records in Britain and Ireland up until the end of 1995.
A common bird of wetlands in Mediterranean countries, especially by the coast. They are becoming increasingly regular at sites further north in France and have now bred in Belgium, Holland and even England.
Popultion: Pairs have bred on a couple of occasions, most notably in Norfolk in 1987.
The European population is at least 15,000 pairs.