See more images of this species in Macaulay Library. Regularly swims in open water and often spins in circles to bring small food items within reach of its slender bill. 2000, Tracy et al. It is found in inland habitats in contrast to the high Arctic breeding grounds and pelagic winter ranges, of the other two species (Colwell and Jehl 1994, Rubega et al. The Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor) is named after the early American ornithologist Alexander Wilson (1766-1813). The third species, Wilson’s Phalarope, nests in marshes in the interior of North America and winters on lakes in South America. Breeds in marshes and spends winters in South America, mainly on high lakes in the Andes. Note white neck and belly, thin bill, and slender-bodied look. Wilson's Phalarope. Slender shorebird with a thin bill. WILSON’S PHALAROPE (Phalaropus tricolor) – (See images below) DESCRIPTION: The Wilson’s Phalarope breeding female has a grey head crown and a grey back with reddish sides. There are three species of phalaropes: in additional to Wilson’s, are the Red-necked and the Red phalaropes. Females court and defend male mates—several per season—while males do most of the work of raising the young. This bird, the largest of the phalaropes, breeds in the prairies of North America in western Canada and the western United States. Distinguishing characteristics of Wilson’s phalarope include a very thin, straight bill; gray wings; poorly defined facial markings in nonbreeding plumage; and a pronounced white rump. The bird was found by John and Pam Hall and Phil Johnson. Like the red phalarope and the red-necked phalarope, the male and the female Wilson's phalarope switch traditional roles during breeding season. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Benton National Wildlife Refuge, Great Falls, MT, USA. The throat is white and the neck is washed rusty. Wilson’s Phalaropes breed in marshes of the Great Plains and intermountain West. While stopping over to molt on salty lakes in the West, Wilson's Phalaropes usually eat so much that they double their body weight. 561-582 BREEDING BIOLOGY OF WILSON’S PHALAROPE IN SOUTHCENTRAL SASKATCHEWAN MARK A. COLWELL AND LEWIS W. ORING’ Ans-rRncr. It has a peculiar foraging behavior of spinning like a top on the water\'s surface or running in circles on muddy banks picking with its bill at the surface for aquatic insects and crustaceans. Wilson's Phalarope: This medium-sized sandpiper has gray-brown upperparts, red-brown streaks on back and shoulders, red-brown markings on white underparts, gray crown, white face, black eye-line, a black needle-like bill, gray wings and a white tail and rump. There is a black band starting from the bill base, going through the eye and extending down the neck. Here they’ll be acting very unlike a shorebird—swimming in deeper water, where their small size, angular shape, needle-like bills, and habit of spinning in circles should help you pick them out. Phalaropes reverse the usual sex roles in birds: Females are larger and more colorful than males; females take the lead in courtship, and males are left to incubate the eggs and care for the young. Wilson's Phalarope. Sits high in the water. At this time of year they may be behaving like “normal” shorebirds, walking on land or in shallow water as they tend their ground nests. Sandpipers and Allies(Order: Charadriiformes, Family:Scolopacidae). Every year in late summer, migrating Wilson's Phalaropes put on an amazing show as enormous flocks amass on salty lakes of the West. Tweet; Description: The breeding female is predominantly gray and brown above, with white underparts, a reddish neck and reddish flank patches. The Cornell Lab will send you updates about birds, birding, and opportunities to help bird conservation. Females are the brightly colored sex, opposite of most birds, and courtship roles are reversed: females compete for males, sometimes mate with several and, once they lay eggs, leave all parental duties to the males. This unusual mating system is called polyandry, and it’s reflected in the way the two sexes look, with the females more brightly colored than the males. In flight, note white rump, grayish tail, and plain grayish wings. [Wilson’s Phalarope call notes] The breeding of Wilson’s Phalaropes is even more unusual. In breeding plumage the female Wilson's Phalarope is the most colorful of the sexes. I had seen two previously at Staines Reservoir, Surrey in 1997 and Vange Marsh, Essex in September 2015 . Of the three species of phalarope, Red, Red-necked, and Wilson's, the Wilson's is the most terrestrial, and the most likely to be seen in Tennessee. They are unique among Minnesota birds in that they are one of only a few species in which the female is much more brightly colored than the male.
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