Nesting ecology of Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus in Ghana


22 – 30

1 April 22

Emmanuel N.A. Taye, Jones K. Quartey, Yaa Ntiamoa-Baidu


Emmanuel N.A. Taye
Centre for African Wetlands, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG67, Legon, Accra, Ghana
Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science, University of Ghana, P.O. Box LG67, Legon, Accra, Ghana


Public Files

Black-winged Stilts Himantopus himantopus are one of the few wader species that breed in wetlands along the coast of Ghana. There has been no research on this species in Ghana beyond the regular counts at coastal Ramsar sites. We studied the breeding behaviour and nesting success of Black-winged Stilts at the Densu Delta Ramsar site over two breeding seasons in 2016 and 2017. A total of 845 eggs from 277 nests were monitored. In 2016, the breeding season started in early March and ended in late July, while in 2017 breeding occurred from early April until late July. Clutch size ranged from 1 to 5 eggs and the mean (± SE) incubation period was 23.48 (± 2.88) days. In 2016 and 2017, 49% and 59% of nests were successful, i.e. at least one egg hatched. Clutch size was the most important factor influencing nest success, with larger clutches more likely to hatch. Black-winged Stilts employed aggregation and aggressive displays to ward off predators and chase off other waders during the peak hatching period. The greatest threats to nests were flooding and predation.