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Friday, May 9, 2014

Along the banks of the creek

Scott reported 14 Red-necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus) at Salmon Creek yesterday, and I'll admit, when a phalarope is nearby, it's hard for me to stay away.

At the end of the day today (9 May 2014), I made a brief stop and spotted three phalaropes feeding along the sandy banks of the creek.

In phalaropes, there is reverse sexual dimorphism — the males and females are distinct, but the females are slightly larger and are more colorful than the males.

Although I don't have a lot of practice separating male and female phalaropes, I'm pretty sure this is a male and female (below).  The female is in the background, with a more distinct white eye-spot.  The male is in the foreground; his eye-spot connects to the red neck patch.

Here's one more picture of the male for comparison:

Somewhat surprisingly, I posted a little more information about Red-necked Phalaropes on this same date in 2012.  To read that post, click here.

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