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Red Phalarope | Phalaropus fulicaria

The Red Phalarope is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Red Phalarope (Latin name Phalaropus fulicaria) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Phalaropus fulicaria can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 291 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 379. You will find a picture of the Red Phalarope on page 368.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Grey Phalarope in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Red Phalarope between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Red Phalarope has a height of 22 cms and weighs around 55 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured yellow. The Phalaropus fulicaria has a white coloured throat, yellow legs and a black, brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Phalaropus fulicaria has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is yellow

Legs are yellow

Throat is white

Back is black, brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Red Phalarope is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

You can see the Red Phalarope bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

The Red Phalarope is a very rare bird that can only be seen out at sea following fish vessels. It can be seen in the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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