The Red-necked Phalarope
are primarily birds of the northern tundra in the summer, and of the open ocean
in the winter. However, small numbers do migrate through the interior of
the country. Like other phalaropes, they can often be seen spinning on the
surface as they feed. The photo on the right depicts both a Red-necked Phalarope
and a Wilson's Phalarope. The
Red-necked is the bird on the left.
Habitat: Breeds on marshy
tundra. In migration inland, they are most common on ponds or lakes
with abundant insects, a preference that also includes sewage ponds.
During winter, most winter well offshore, concentrating on areas of upwelling
Diet: Primarily feeds on insects on its
summer breeding grounds. During migration and in winter, will also feed on
small crustaceans and mollusks, as well as plankton.
Behavior: Feeds in typical phalarope fashion,
swimming and picking food items from the surface or just below. As
with other phalaropes, open spins while foraging, bringing food items closer
to the surface.
Breeding: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: Makes a soft twip flight call.
Migration: Summers in northern Canada and Alaska.
Primarily winters in the Southern Hemisphere, with large numbers well off coast
to the west of South America.
Status: Some evidence of local declines, but they
are still fairly common and populations are generally stable.
-- Red-necked Phalarope
Photo Information: May 17th, 2003 -- Near Onida, South
-- Dan Tallman.