Phalaropidae - Phalaropes

The three species of phalarope are rather specialised waders, adapted to the marine environment. All have lobed and partially webbed toes, making them good swimmers and all have a delicate needle-like bill for picking small insects off the water's surface. The phalaropes are unusual amongst birds in that the female is larger and more brightly coloured than the male, and it is she who initiates courtship, displays and defends the territory, leaving the duller male to incubate the eggs.

Only one species, the Red-necked Phalarope occurs regularly in Britain, breeding on small lochs in the far north and west of Scotland.

Regularly Occurring Species

Red-necked Phalarope

Occasional Visitors

Wilson's Phalarope
Grey Phalarope

Related content