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Wilson's Phalarope - BirdForum Opus

Female in breeding plumage
Photo © by smackay
Seattle, Washington, May 2003
Phalaropus tricolor

Steganopus tricolor

Identification

22–24 cm (8½-9½ in)

  • Lobed toes
  • Straight fine black bill

Breeding female

  • White face
  • Gray wings with chestnut bands
  • Pinkish foreneck
  • Black eyestripe, which continues down sides of neck
  • White underparts
  • Square white rump
Photo © by HelenB
Wilson's Phalarope in flight, over San Bernard NWR, Upper Texas Coast, April 2010

Breeding male - duller than the female; may lack reddish patches

  • Brown back

Young birds

  • Gray and brown upperparts
  • White underparts
  • Dark patch through the eye

Non-breeding

  • Gray upperparts
  • White underparts
  • Retains dark eye patch

Flight

Shows square white rump and trailing yellow legs .

Similar Species

Can be confused with Lesser Yellowlegs and Stilt Sandpiper in winter plumage.

Distribution

Wintering
Photo © by Raul Padilla
Singuilucan, Mexico

Breeds in Canada and US; winters in western and southern South America.

Regular vagrant to the British Isles, usually in the Autumn.

Taxonomy

This is a monotypic species[1].

It has sometimes been placed in a monotypic genus Steganopus[2].

Habitat

Prairie lakes, marshes, pools, shores, mudflats, sand bars and river bankss.

Behaviour

Breeding

The 3-4 eggs are laid in a ground nest near water. The male incubates the eggs and cares for the young. The chicks feed themselves once fledged.

The females leave the breeding grounds soon after laying the eggs.

Diet

Their diet consists mostly of small water insects. They agitate the water by swimming in small circles.

Vocalisation

Voice: a grunted aangh
Flight call: vit' or chu

References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Collins Bird Guide ISBN 0 00 219728
  4. Collins Field Guide 5th Edition ISBN 0 00 219900 9
  5. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1

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