Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor



The females pursue males, compete for nesting territory, and will aggressively defend their nests and chosen mates. Once the females lay their eggs, they begin their southward migration, leaving the males to incubate the eggs and look after the young. The nesting territories may be close, it is not an aggressive species. The eggs are laid bare in the cavity, and the male cover the nest with vegetation. The eggs are laid in intervals of 24 to 27 hours. The eggs are preyed upon by birds, mammals and reptiles.

The breeding season begins in early May and ends in August. It has a single brood per year. The nest is placed on the ground, amid the vegetation, is a cavity lined with dry grass, measured 7 to 10 cm, and is covered with grass; if nesting in wetlands, the nest is of dry grass, moss and branches. It nests on the banks of swamps, water bodies within the continent, where there are mixtures of prairies, grasslands and low vegetation. Puts 3 to 4 eggs, oval, smooth, slightly shiny, silvery to pale buff, often with many black-brown and brownish-purple marks, measuring 37 x 24 mm. Incubation lasts 20 - 21 days. The chicks are precocious and are born covered with buff down above and white below, with patterns of lines and points on the body.

Recommended Citation

Wilson's Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/wilpha