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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Red-necked Phalarope -- Phalaropus lobatus

RANGE: Breeds from northern Alaska and southern Victoria Island to central Keewatin and southern Baffin Island, south to northwestern British Columbia and northern Alberta across to northern Quebec, and locally along coast of Labrador. Winters mainly at sea in the Southern Hemisphere, largely in tropical and subtropical oceans.

STATUS: Uncommon.

HABITAT: Inhabits the wetter portions of flat alluvial plains, sedge-grass marshlands, clearings in alder and willow scrub, and heath covered slopes above alder and willow scrub. In winter, occurs near upwellings or where other local conditions produce a high biomass of accessible food organisms.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Wet grassy or sedgy terrain interspersed with pools, boreal clearings, or tundra.

NEST: Nests in a small hollow in moss or among sedges, usually atop a small hummock surrounded by water or near a marshy pond or small stream.

FOOD: Forages while swimming, wading, and walking, chiefly on invertebrates. During the breeding season and in migration, eats predominately small insects, especially adult flies and larvae. Also consumes mollusks, crustaceans, spiders, mites, worms, and rarely small fishes and tadpoles, as well as some seeds and algae.

REFERENCES: Bent 1927, Clapp et al. 1983, Cramp and Simmons 1983, Hohn 1968, Palmer 1967.

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