Red-necked Phalarope is about 18 cm (7 in) in length, with lobed toes and a straight, fine bill. The breeding female is dark grey above, with a chestnut neck and upper breast, black face and white throat. The breeding male is a duller version of the female. They have lobed toes to assist with their swimming. Young birds are grey and brown above, with buff underparts and a black patch through the eye. In winter, the plumage is essentially grey above and white below, but the black eyepatch is always present.


Habitat and Distribution

The Red-necked Phalarope breeds in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. It is migratory, and, unusually for a wader, winters at sea on tropical oceans.


Feeding

They catch their prey by reaching into shallow water surfaces with their bill and plucking small insects or crustaceans caught up therein.


Breeding

Females are larger and more brightly coloured than males. The females pursue and fight over males, and will defend their mate from other females until the clutch is complete and the male begins incubation. The males perform all incubation and chick-rearing activities, while the females may attempt to find another mate. The clutch size is usually 4.


Calls and Songs

They have a sharp call described as a whit or twit.