Red Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius

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The chunkiest and thickest-billed phalarope. Of the three phalaropes, Red is the least likely to be seen inland. Breeding females are brighter and more contrasting than males: note bright body the color of tomato juice, with black cap and white cheek. Males are colored like watered-down tomato juice, with a streaky cap. Also look for yellow bill with dark tip. Nonbreeding is much less colorful: smooth gray above and white below with a black ear patch. Juveniles are dark above and stained with buffy tones; they molt quickly into nonbreeding plumage. Breeds on Arctic tundra. Primarily found on the open ocean during migration and winter; rare inland. Usually in small flocks, but can gather in larger numbers, often in mixed flocks with Red-necked Phalarope. Red is best distinguished by larger size, thicker bill, and slightly paler, smoother-looking upperparts.



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