BLACK STILT Himantopus novaezelandiae

Probably the rarest wader in the world, but not impossible to see if you know where to go. It was being hybridised out of existence, and many hybrids look very similar to the genuine birds, especially as all birds are pied when they initially fledge. The immature bird on the right is a hybrid, the pure bird, taken distantly and blown up, was one of the last few breeding pairs in the wild at the time of taking, but numbers are slowly increasing as a result of a captive breeding program (bird on main page). 170 adult birds were estimated in April 2021, from a low point of just 23 and four breeding pairs. There are subtle differences, but the easiest way is to look for a ring. If it has one it's a pure bird.

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