Phalaropus (Wilson's phalarope) Phalaropus tricolor
Species: P. tricolor
Binomial name: Phalaropus tricolor
Synonyms: Steganopus tricolour
Common name: Wilson's phalarope
Wilson's phalarope is the largest and most terrestrial of the phalaropes (slender-necked shorebirds). They are unusually halophilic (salt-loving). They have a length of >24 cm and can weight >70 gm. The female breeding plumage is are chestnut-reddish markings on the neck, breast.
When feeding they will often swim in a small, rapid circle, forming a small whirlpool. This behaviour is thought to aid feeding by raising food from the bottom of shallow water.
Wilson's phalaropes have been recorded in New Zealand on four occasions: Manawatu estuary 1983, Lake Ellesmere between November 1983-1984, Taharoa, Waikato in October 2004 and in December 2016 by Adam Clarke in Westshore Wildlife Reserve, Napier.
A female in breeding colours.
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