18 June 2013

Breeding Black-winged Stilts – Dhahran Hills

Black-winged Stilts have bred again on the percolation pond with a pair of birds successfully rearing four young from a nest built on one of the floating platforms. This is the second year in a row birds have used the floating platform for breeding on but this time it was the platform further out in the pond whereas last year it was the closer in platform. The young jump into the water when they are old enough and walk on the submerged weeds to the edge of the pond where they hide in the reeds until they grow bigger. Last year another pair of birds, breed on the muddy edge of the pond in a scrape made of mud, but this year the water levels have been higher and I have not noticed any breeding behaviour on the edge of the pond. They may still be nesting in this area, as it is very overgrown with reeds this year and difficult to see much inside. Other larger juvenile birds are still present on the pond but they have almost certainly bred elsewhere.

Black-winged Stilts are fantastic parents and make huge amounts of noise if anyone or anything gets too close to their offspring. Last year Phil Roberts took a fantastic photograph of an adult birds attacking a Western Osprey that was sitting in a dead tree too close to the waters edge of the percolation pond for the adult Black-winged Stilts liking, which he kindly allowed me to use on my website previously.