The Wilson’s Phalarope has a couple of claims to fame. One is the unique way it captures its food. Wilson’s Pharalopes will often swim in tight circles in order to create vortexes that carry prey items to the water’s surface for easy pickings. This behavior is illustrated in the video below. The second unusual trait of this pharalope is its reversal of typical sex roles. The female Wilson’s Pharalope is larger and more brightly colored than the male. The female is responsible for initiating courting. It is also the her job to compete for and defend nesting sites. Egg incubation duties and care of the young is left solely to the male.

A group of phalaropes feeding in shallow water.
A group of phalaropes feeding in shallow water.
A female Wilson's Pharalope.
A female Wilson’s Pharalope.
A male Wilson's Pharalope.
A male Wilson’s Pharalope.
A male and female side by side.
A male and female side by side.

Observation Details

DateMay 5, 2013
Time of DayMidmorning
TemperatureCool (50-69°F/10-21°C)
WeatherPartly Cloudy
Type of BehaviorFeeding
ObserverChris Jackson

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