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Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicaria


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Red Phalarope
credit: Mike Baird/CCSA

© Lang Elliot/ (audio)

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Family: Scolopacidae, Sandpipers view all from this family

Description ADULT breeding Female has orange-red plumage on neck and underparts, dark crown, and white facial patch, and buff-fringed dark feathers on back. Summer male is similar but duller. ADULT WINTER Has gray upperparts, white underparts, dark nape, and black "panda" patch through eye. JUVENILE Loosely recalls winter adult, but breast, neck, and back are tinged buff and back feathers are dark with buff fringes.

Dimensions Length: 8" (20 cm)

Habitat Common breeding species (Jun-Jul) beside high Arctic tundra pools. Winters at sea off South America and migration is mainly pelagic.

Observation Tips Visit high Arctic for guaranteed sightings. Otherwise pelagic boat trips offer best chances during migration. Lone migrants sometimes found on coastal pools after gales in fall. Rarely observed inland.

Range California, Texas, Florida, Alaska, New England, Eastern Canada, Rocky Mountains, Western Canada, Plains, Mid-Atlantic, Southwest, Southeast, Northwest, Great Lakes

Voice Utters a sharp pit call.

Discussion Charming little shorebird, typically seen swimming, often spinning rapidly. Most individuals are oblivious to human observers. Bill is shorter and stouter than that of Red-necked, and is yellow with dark tip. Breeding female is more colorful than male.