Red-necked PhalaropePhalaropus lobatus

adult male, breeding
Arthur Morris/VIREO
adult male, breeding
Geoff Malosh/VIREO
adult female, breeding
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
adult, molting to nonbreeding plumage
Barry Miller/VIREO
juvenile
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
juvenile
Arthur Morris/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Glenn Bartley/VIREO
Red-necked Phalarope

Family

Description

7" (18 cm). A sparrow-sized swimming shorebird with a conspicuous wing stripe. Breeding adults have dark head and back, white chin and belly separated by chestnut upper breast and sides of neck. Females more boldly patterned than males. In winter, darker above, with dark line through eye and usually with dark crown, and entirely white below. Bill thin.

Voice

A sharp twit or whit.

Listen

various interaction calls
kett calls & interaction sounds
kett calls & rattles

Habitat

Breeds on tundra pools; visits open ocean, beaches, flats, and lake and river shores during migration.

Range

Breeds in Alaska and across northern Canada. Migrates along both coasts, more rarely in interior, and winters mainly at sea in Southern Hemisphere. Also in Old World.

Discussion

Among Phalaropes, the female has brighter plumage, and the male incubates the eggs and cares for the young. Red-necked Phalaropes, like Red Phalaropes but unlike other shorebirds, prefer to swim rather than wade, a habit that enables them to spend the winter on the high seas, although on occasion they wade in pools and feed on mudflats with many other shorebirds. They float buoyantly, picking small creatures from the surface of the water with rapid jabs of the bill, often while swimming in circles or spinning around to stir up the water with their lobed toes.

Nesting

4 olive eggs, spotted with brown, in a slight hollow on the ground in marshy tundra.

Similar Species

adult, breeding

Dunlin

8 1/2" (22 cm). A starling-sized shorebird. Bill fairly long, with distinct droop at tip. Breeding adults have reddish back, whitish underparts, with black patch in center of belly.

adult male, breeding

Curlew Sandpiper

8" (20 cm). Similar in size and shape to Dunlin, but entire bill noticeably curved. Summer adults are rich cinnamon or chestnut. Winter birds gray above and white below.

adult, breeding

Stilt Sandpiper

8 1/2" (22 cm). A starling-sized sandpiper with long greenish legs and long bill, slightly down-curved at tip. Wings lack stripe. Breeding adult has chestnut head stripes and barring below.

adult male, breeding

Red Phalarope

8" (20 cm). A starling-sized swimming shorebird with a conspicuous wing stripe and a short yellow bill with black tip. Breeding adults rich chestnut, with dark crown, white face.

adult male, breeding

Wilson's Phalarope

9" (23 cm). A strikingly patterned shorebird with a needle-like bill, pearl-gray head and back, white underparts, black stripe through eye and down neck, and chestnut markings on breast and back.

Vireo

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