Red-necked Phalarope

Phalaropus lobatus




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Buff olive with brown spots.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

17 - 21

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with grasses and leaves.





Red-necked Phalarope: Medium-sized sandpiper with brown-striped dark gray back, mottled gray breast, white throat and belly; gray head, nape and flanks; rust-brown neck and upper breast. Bill is needle-like and black; has slender neck. Female more brightly colored with darker face and smaller white throat patch. Winter adult has gray crown, eye stripe, upperparts; white underparts. Juvenile resembles winter adult; has brown crown, hind-neck and eye-patch; upperparts are black-brown with bright, buff fringes; breast is buff; underparts are white.

Range and Habitat

Red-necked Phalarope: Breeds in the Arctic south to James Bay, Alaska and the Aleutians, and along the southern coast of Greenland. Spends winters off Peru, the southern Arabian Peninsula, and Indonesia. May be found throughout North American during its migrations. Inhabits open ocean and beaches; found on shallow rivers, lakes, and mudflats during migration.

Breeding and Nesting

Red-necked Phalarope: Three to four buff olive eggs spotted with brown are laid in a shallow dip on marshy tundra. Nest is lined with grass and leaves. Incubation ranges from 17 to 21 days and is carried out by the male.

Foraging and Feeding

Red-necked Phalarope: Their diet includes small invertebrates, especially copepods and the aquatic larvae of flies, and at breeding grounds adult and larval flies and fly eggs, beetles and unidentified spiders. They are a visual forager. By spinning quickly in shallow water to create a vortex, they churn up tiny invertebrates.


Red-necked Phalarope: Both sexes emit a short, high-pitched "wit-wit" call.

Similar Species

Red-necked Phalarope: Red Phalarope is larger, darker, has a strongly striped back and blacker crown.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The upper front part of a bird.
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X