Thursday, May 13, 2021

Wilson's Phalarope

I blogged on the red-necked phalarope yesterday. Today is an even more bizarre bird, Wilson's phalarope. I saw only one swimming among a bunch of red-necked phalaropes at Varner Harbor in Salton Sea SRA. It really stood out. 

As with the red-necked phalarope, the breeding female Wilson's phalarope (which is what I saw) is more colorful than the male. What really stood out was a blue/gray cap and stripe down the neck and back with some blue/gray competing with red and black on the back. The neck is a mixture of red and black and it has a black stripe that runs through its eye and connects to its black bill. 
They love salt and feed in large numbers on saline lakes during migration, such as the Great Salt Lake and Mono Lake, often with red-necked phalaropes. Of course the Salton Sea is very salty and fits that description. 

This is a migratory bird, but doesn't breed as far north as the red-necked phalarope. The range map below if from All About Birds

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I would never be able to tell this apart from the red-necked version. You almost have to have a photo so that you can see them side-by-side.