Data for:
Mendocino, California, United States

Charadriiformes > Scolopacidae

Wilson's Phalarope

Phalaropus tricolor

Sign in to see your badges



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.



Sign in to see your stats

Weekly Bar Chart

Choose a region to view Weekly Bar Chart

Range Map

Large map


Top video

View all

Learn more about Wilson's Phalarope from…

All About Birds Your Online Guide To Birds And Bird Watching

Wilson's Phalarope

Birds of the World

Birds of the World logo

Comprehensive life histories for all bird species and families.

Explore Wilson's Phalarope