Red Phalarope

Red Phalarope, Rosse Franjepoot, Thorshunchen, Falaropo Picogrueso, Falaropo-de-bico-grosso

Spotted in the Alentejo region of Portugal.                              Red Phalarope sound

The Red Phalarope (called Grey Phalarope in Europe), Phalaropus fulicarius, is a small wader. 

This phalarope breeds in the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia. It is migratory, and, unusually for a wader, migrating mainly on oceanic routes and wintering at sea on tropical oceans.

Red Phalarope is about 21 cm (8 inches) in length, with lobed toes and a straight bill, somewhat thicker than that of Red-necked Phalarope. The breeding female is predominantly dark brown and black above, with red underparts and white cheek patches. The bill is yellow, tipped black. The breeding male is a duller version of the female. Young birds are light grey and brown above, with buff underparts and a dark patch through the eye. In winter, the plumage is essentially grey above and white below, but the black eyepatch is always present. The bill is black in winter. Their call is a short beek.

The typical avian sex roles are reversed in the three phalarope species. Females are larger and more brightly coloured than males. The females pursue males, compete for nesting territory, and will aggressively defend their nests and chosen mates. Once the females lay their olive-brown eggs, they begin their southward migration, leaving the males to incubate the eggs and care for the young. Three to six eggs are laid in a ground nest near water. The young mainly feed themselves and are able to fly within 18 days of birth.

When feeding, a Red Phalarope 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. The bird will reach into the outskirts of the vortex with its bill, plucking small insects or crustaceans caught up therein. They sometimes fly up to catch insects in flight. On the open ocean, they are found in areas where converging ocean currents produce upwellings and are often found near groups of whales. Outside of the nesting season they often travel in flocks.

This species is often very tame and approachable.

The Red Phalarope is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

Other synonyms:

Afrikaans: Grysfraaiingpoot, Grysfraiingpoot
Asturian: Falaropu Picogordu, Mazaricu Picugordu
Breton: An teleg beg ledan
Catalan: Escuraflascons becgròs, Siseta cendrosa
Valencian: Siseta cendrosa
Czech: Lyskonoh ploskozobý
Welsh: Llydandroed llwyd, Pibydd llydandroed, Pibydd llydandroed glas, Pibydd llydandroed llwyd
Danish: Thorshane
German: Thorshühnchen, Thorswassertreter
English: Gray Phalarope, Gray Phalarope/Red Phalarope, Grey Phalarope, Grey Phalarope/Red Phalarope, Red Phalarope
Spanish: Falárapo Piquigrueso, Falaropa Picogrueso, Falaropo Colorado, Faláropo de Pico Grueso, Falaropo Pico Grueso, Falaropo Picogruesco, Falaropo picogrueso, Falaropo rojo, Faloropo pico grueso, Pollito de mar rojizo
Estonian: puna-veetallaja
Basque: Escuraflascons becgròs, Mendebal-txori mokolodi, Mendebal-txori mokolodia
Finnish: Isovesipääsky
Faroese: Sundgrælingur
French: Phalarope à bec large, Phalarope roux
Irish: Falaróp Gobmhór
Gaelic: Liathag Allt
Galician: Escuraflascons becgròs, Falaropo bicogroso
Guarani: Chululu
Manx: Coar ghlass
Croatian: Plosnokljuna liskonoga
Hungarian: Laposcsoru víztaposó, Laposcsõrû víztaposó
Icelandic: Þórshani
Italian: Falaropo a beccolargo, Falaropo beccolargo
Inuktitut: Kajuaraq, Shutgak
Japanese: haiirohireashishigi, Haiiro-hireashi-shigi, Haiirohireashi-shigi
Cornish: Pyber los
Latin: Crymophilus fulicarius, Phalaropus fulicaria, Phalaropus fulicarius
Lithuanian: Plokšciasnapis plaukikas, Plokš?iasnapis plaukikas, Rudasis plaukikas
Dutch: Grauwe franjepoot, Rosse Franjepoot
Norwegian: Polarsvømmesnipe
Polish: platkonóg plaskodzioby, Platkonóg szydlodzioby
Portuguese: Falaropo-de-bico-grosso, Macarico-sovela
Portuguese (Brazil): Falaropo-de-bico-grosso, Macarico-sovela
Romansh: Rivarel curt
Russian: Ploskonosy Plavunchik
Scots: Liathag allt
Slovak: Lyskonoh ploskozobý
Slovenian: ploskokljuni liskonožec
Serbian: Plosnokljuna liskonoga, Ridja (plosnokljuna) liskonoga, Ridja liskonoga
Swedish: Brednäbbad simsnäppa


Travel Birdwatching Holiday Alentejo, Vacation Portugal for birders guided birdwatching Tours and Trips.

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