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South Creek Mouth
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Charadriiformes > Scolopacidae

Wilson's Phalarope

Phalaropus tricolor

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Identification

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Slender shorebird known for spinning frantically on water to stir up small invertebrates. Note needle-thin bill, longer and thinner than other phalaropes. Breeding females are brighter and more contrasting than males: note gray cap, peachy-orange neck with broad black stripe, and gray-and-rufous back. Males are duller with plainer grayish-brown upperparts and a less distinct dark neck stripe. Nonbreeding birds are very pale gray above and white below with a rather plain face and yellowish legs. Juveniles show crisp buffy edges on wing feathers. Prefers shallow ponds, marshes, and lakes, sometimes in large flocks. Can mix with Red-necked Phalarope; Wilson’s is larger, lankier, and longer-billed. Feeds frantically, more often on land than other phalaropes. Never on the open ocean. Most common in western North America; uncommon to rare in the east. Winters as far south as Tierra del Fuego.

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Wilson's Phalarope

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