Red-necked Phalarope

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Scientific Information

Female Red-necked Phalarope in breeding plumage.
Female (left) and male (right) Red-necked Phalaropes.
Red-necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus) are the third most abundant bird on the Peninsula. Locally phalaropes are called called swimmers because of their feeding habit of spinning in tight circles to create upwellings of food that they then will pick from the water’s surface. They eat mostly insects but will feed on brine shrimp and zooplankton. Females arrive on the breeding grounds before the males, establish territories and display to attract mates. The male will build the nest and after laying eggs the female will leave the male to incubate the eggs to try and attract another mate. The female’s chestnut color on the front and sides of the neck are more distinctive than the male’s.

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Locally these birds are known as swimmers because of their feeding behavior. Young hunters will stalk these birds and traditionally will bring their kill back to their parents or grandparents to cook.

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