The Bird Book/Phalaropes


Phalaropes are small Plover-like birds, but with lobate webbed feet, similar to those of the Grebes and Coots.

222. RED PHALAROPE. Phalaropus fulicarius.

Range. Northern Hemisphere, breeding in the far north, and migrating to the middle portions of the United States, chiefly on the coasts.

The Red Phalarope during the breeding season has the underparts wholly reddish brown; they are very rarely seen in the United States in this dress, however for it is early changed for a suit of plain gray and white. This species has a much

x 1 -" w*^K stouter bill than the two

following; it is about nine inches in length. All the Phalaropes are good swimmers, and this species, especially, is often found in large flocks off the coast, floating on the surface of the water; they feed largely upon small marine insects. Nests in hollows on the ground, lined with a few grasses. The eggs are three or four in number, generally of a greenish buff color, spotted and blotched with brown and blackish. Data. Myvates, Iceland, June 19, 1897, Collector, C. Jefferys.

223. NORTHERN PHALAROPE. Lobipes labatus.

Range. Northern Hemisphere, breeding in the northern parts of the British Provinces.

This is the smallest of the Phalaropes ^being about eight inches long; in summer it has a chestnut band across the breast and on the side of the neck. Its habits and nesting habits vary but little from those of the Red Phalarope, although its distribution is a little more southerly, and it is not as exclusively maritime as the preceding species. It is found on both coasts of the United States, but more common on the Pacific side, during the fall and spring, when going to or returning from its winter quarters in the tropics. Their eggs cannot, with certainty, be distinguished from the preceding species.


Red Fhaiarope. Northern Phalarope.

Greenish buff.



Male, female, young. Wilson's Phalarope

224. WILSON'S PHALAROPE. Steganopus tricolor.

Range. Interior of temperate North America, breeding from the latitude of Iowa, northward, and wintering south of the United States.

This is the most handsome species of the family, being of a very graceful form, of a grayish and white color, with a broad stripe through the eye and down the neck, where it fades insensibly into a rich chestnut color. It is an exclusively American species and is rare ly found near the coast. It builds its nest generally in a tuft of grass, the nests also being of Brownish buff,

grass. The eggs

are of a brownish or greenish buff color, spotted and blotched with black and brown. Size 1.30 x .90. Data. Larimore, N. D., May 30, 1897. Nest a shallow depression, scratched in the sand, under a tuft of grass on an island. Collector, T. F. Eastgate.