I have been fortunate to see this incredible bird on two occasions this year - once in Indiana (I had three flybys on a trip to Cane Ridge with my grandpa) and more recently at Pea Island NWR in North Carolina. There I could actually see the bird - observe it feeding, wading, and just hangin' around. I'm quickly becoming an obsessive "state lister", and Black-necked Stilt was a pleasant addition, especially considering that Stilts are rare in late September.
These long-legged birds never cease to amaze me. Every time I see one I am reminded of the beautiful complexity of nature and it's stunning diversity. Birds currently lay in the crosshairs of ecological degradation, and these charismatic stilts can help people recognize the true value of our spectacular avifauna.