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Phalaropus fulicarius

Red Phalarope

  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Scolopacidae

Authors: Contreras-González, A.M., C. Rodríguez-Flores, C. Soberanes-González & M.C. Arizmendi



51 - 56 cm. 55 g. Bill straight, slender. Black upperwings, flight feathers at base are white. White underwings with grayish edges. Legs dark gray. Non-breeding plumage (September-April): Bill black, yellow at base. Crown, forehead, face, chest and belly white. Black stripe behind the eye. Nape and upperparts gray. Rump and tail feathers dark gray, lateral feathers that cover uppertail white. In breeding season males and females are different (April-July). Male: Smaller than the female. Bill yellow, black at base. Face whitish. Crown, nape and upperparts buff stripped black. Cheeks, throat, chest and flanks reddish-chestnut mottled white. Belly grayish. Female: Bill yellow tipped black. Face white. Area between the bill and eyes, forehead, and crown black. Upperparts black with white edges. Back blackish with two white lines in a V. Throat, neck and underparts reddish. Legs brown. Juveniles are similar to non-breeding adults, but white parts of adults are buff; back feathers are brown with buff margins.

Similar Species

Red-necked Phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus) is smaller, during non-breeding season the back plumage gray striated; during breeding season the white of face is more reduced, females with white underparts.


Phalaropus fulicarius emits a sound similar to the Red-necked Phalarope juit or prip.

Nonvocal Sounds

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Detailed Description (appearance)

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Bare Parts

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Geographic Variation

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Recommended Citation

Contreras-González, A.M., C. Rodríguez-Flores, C. Soberanes-González & M.C. Arizmendi. 2010. Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: