Red Phalarope

Phalaropus fulicarius




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Olive green blotched with black or brown.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:

18 - 20

Egg Incubator:


Nest Location:

On ground.

Nest Material:

Lined with grasses and fine material.





Red Phalarope: Medium-sized sandpiper; dark gray upperparts; rufous neck and underparts; white face, black cap, and a thick, straight yellow bill with black tip. Female mainly chestnut-red with black-brown crown and face; gray center of nape, white alongside of face; upperparts black-brown with cinnamon and buff fringes; more brightly colored than male, with darker cap. Winter adult has mostly gray upperparts, pale crown, gray stripe through eye, white underparts mottled with gray on breast; dark bill. Juvenile resembles male.

Range and Habitat

Red Phalarope: Breeds along the arctic coasts of Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland; migrates along both coasts, very rarely recorded inland. Winters mainly at sea in Southern Hemisphere; but may occur along the Pacific Coast from central California south and occasionally along the Atlantic Coast from Virginia to Florida.

Breeding and Nesting

Red Phalarope: Three to four olive green eggs blotched with black or brown are laid in a shallow scrape on the ground lined with grass, lichens, and moss. Incubation ranges from 18 to 20 days and is carried out by the male.

Foraging and Feeding

Red Phalarope: They feed on insects, small mollusks, crustaceans, larval insects, aquatic worms, zoo-plankton and small fish. They wade into water to forage and find food on the surface and in shallows. They are visual foragers while walking, wading, or swimming. They sometimes run after flying prey and jump to catch it, or dip the head below the water surface while wading or swimming.


Red Phalarope: Gives a sharp "twik" and a musical "clink-clink".

Similar Species

Red Phalarope: Red-necked Phalarope has a longer, thinner, black bill. Summer bird lacks red underparts; winter birds has streaked upperparts.


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

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The area on top of the head of the 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