Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Red-Necked Phalarope

One of the nice surprises on my Saturday trip to the Salton Sea was numerous red-necked phalarope in Varner Harbor at the Salton Sea SRA. It was around noon and the sun was very bright, not great light for taking photos. What really stood out was red on the neck and gold stripes on the back. They were also less shy than other ducks and wading birds that I normally see in the harbor. 

The breeding female is more beautiful than the male. It is dark gray above with a red neck and breast, black face, white throat and thin, sharp bill. Descriptions I've read do not mention the yellowish/gold stripes on the back, but those were what really stood out to me. Perhaps the sun gave them added prominence. 

They breed in the Arctic and winter in tropical oceans, so they have a huge migration. The range map below is from All About Birds

1 comment:

  1. What an elegant bird. Even the way it hold up its head is elegant. I'd call this a "runway bird," fit to model its beautiful feathers.