Date of this Version
Drahota, "Breeding Black-necked Stilts at Funk Waterfowl Production Area" in Nebraska Bird Review (December 2003) 71(4).
On 21 July 2003, I was mapping wetland vegetation on Funk Waterfowl Production Area (WPA), Phelps County, when I encountered two adult Black-necked Stilts and two young on the Teal Unit, NE 1/4 of Section 16, T-6-N, R-17-W. I was using an airboat to map pockets of open water throughout the WPA. When I launched the airboat on the Teal Unit, I immediately noticed an adult Black-necked Stilt flying above the small pool. While driving the perimeter of this pool, I noticed two adult Black-necked Stilts continually flying over a small point of cattails surrounded by shallow water. As I passed along the opposite shoreline near the adults, I could see two unidentified, long-legged shorebirds walking just inside the edge of the cattails. As I followed the edge of the cattails around the pool, I slowly approached the area where I had seen the two unidentified shorebirds. Approximately 10 meters from where I had last seen them, two fuzzy, gray, long-legged Black-necked Stilts appeared and slowly walked just 5 meters in front of the boat for a short distance before weaving back into the cattails. I slowly departed the area and ceased operations on this particular unit. Habitat near the brood location consisted of a large (3.1 acre), shallow (average water depth was 9 cm) opening covered with a mat of common duckweed (Lemna minor) and surrounded by a dense cattail (Typha glauca) marsh with an average height of 4.7 meters.