Hawaiian Stilt (Ae'o)
Published by Austin AmesIntroduction
The precious Hawaiian Stilt is an endangered species native to our island. The Hawaiian Stilt is usually about 16 inches tall including its long black bill of about three inches. This bird looks long and thin with bright pink legs that make it look like it is walking on stilts. Males are black and females are brownish. The front neck and underparts are pure white. The Hawaiian Stilt is a race of black necked stilts and differs from other continental races because the black comes farther down on its forehead, and the black sometimes comes around the neck more than other races.
The stilt lays about 4 eggs, and when they hatch the adults take good care of them. The parents must really love their young ones because they will act hurt to attract the predators away from their nest.
Click here to view a video of the stilt.
The stilt has a variety of different foods. The Hawaiian Stilt eats small fish, crabs, worms, or other water insects. Once in a while they eat water plants. They can hunt singly or in groups. They find their food with their bills. They will crack the shell of crabs like a tiger tears its food to bits.
The Hawaiian Stilt makes its home in many unique environments. The Hawaiian Stilt lives on all the island except Lanai. It is common on Oahu and is endemic in the Hawaiian chain. The stilt makes its home in marshes and wetlands areas and some odd places like marine bases. Colored tags on stilts have shown that stilts fly from one island to the next.
Why They Are Endangered
Unfortunately, the Ae'o is endangered for many reasons. Why the stilt is endangered is because man is pumping all the water out of the wetlands areas and eliminating its home so that man can use the land for houses, shopping centers and other buildings. Another reason is man is polluting the environments in which the stilt makes it's home. Also the stilt was a game bird until 1941 , and some people still kill them illegal. Other predators are mongooses and feral animals like cats and dogs.
How We are Helping Them
The governments has helped by passing laws that make it illegal for people to shoot the stilt. Some people have helped by trying to keep the natural habitats for the stilts so it can have babies and repopulate.
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