red-necked phalarope

red-necked phalarope defined in 1930 year

red-necked phalarope - Red-necked Phalarope;
red-necked phalarope - Female: head, hind neck, and shoulders ash-grey; upper parts dark grey mixed with rufous; a white bar on the wing; neck chestnut; upper breast ash-grey; under parts white; bill black; legs and feet greenish. Length, seven inches and three-quarters. Male: smaller, and less brightly coloured.

The phalaropes are small, handsome birds that, like the plovers they are related to, perform long annual migrations, breed in very high latitudes north of the arctic circle, and have a distinctly different summer and winter plumage. But in the form of their curiously lobed feet they are like coots, while in their habits they are, perhaps, nearest to the moorhen. There are two British species, both irregular visitors on migration to this country; but of the red-necked phalarope a few pairs remain to breed annually in the Hebrides and Shetlands, consequently this species may be regarded as indigenous. Unfortunately, the British race of this bird is now nearly extinct, victims to the ' cupidity of the cabinet,' specimens of the bird and its eggs being in great request among collectors.

The red-necked phalarope is equally at home on land or water, and picks up its food on the sandy or muddy margins of the marshy pools it frequents in summer, and from the surface of the water, as it swims rapidly about, sitting high, and with head set back like a gull.

The nest is placed on the ground, among heather or herbage and grass, at some distance from the water. The four eggs are pale brown in ground-colour, spotted with blackish brown and grey.

The grey phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius), irregular in its visits like the last species, appears in larger numbers when it does come. Its visits to the south and south-east coasts of England occur in autumn and winter. Its range in summer is circumpolar, and it has been found breeding as far north as latitude 82° 30'. The breeding plumage is reddish chestnut, the female being brightest in colour. In winter, when it arrives in this country, its under parts are pure white, and the whole upper parts a delicate pale grey.

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