Red-necked Phalarope

The Red-necked Phalarope is a unique bird species that has captured the attention of many birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. This small, wading bird not only boasts a striking appearance but also an interesting set of behavioral patterns.

Basic Description

The Red-necked Phalarope is known for its distinctive features such as its long, thin beak, webbed feet, and striking colors. It measures about 7-8 inches in length with a wingspan of approximately 13-15 inches. During breeding season, males have vibrant reddish-brown necks while females display duller shades of the same color.

Where To Find This Bird

Red-necked Phalaropes are migratory birds that can be found across various continents including North America, Europe, and Asia. During Arctic summers (June-August), they breed in tundra ponds within Alaska and Canada before migrating to oceans during winter months.


As previously mentioned, Red-necked Phalaropes prefer breeding on moist tundras located near lakes or shallow ponds whereas their non-breeding habitats include open waters like saltwater bays or offshore areas.


One interesting characteristic of this bird is its feeding behavior as it spins around rapidly on the surface of water using their legs to create whirlpools which bring tiny crustaceans up from deeper waters where they can then feed upon them with specialized bills. They also feed on insects that emerge from freshwater bodies during summer months when available food options dwindles.

Cool Facts

Aside from their unique feeding behavior mentioned above some other cool facts worth noting are:

– The sex roles for parenting gets reversed after mating takes place meaning males incubate eggs while females seek out multiple mates
– These birds travel thousands of miles each year between nesting sites and wintering grounds
– Their population numbers are declining likely due to habitat loss caused by climate change

In conclusion, the Red-necked Phalarope is a fascinating bird to learn about with its distinct characteristics and interesting behaviors. To spot one, keep an eye out for their vibrant red necks during breeding season near tundra ponds in Alaska and Canada then watch them spin rapidly on the surface of water to feed.