Thursday, May 1, 2008

Phound: Phemale Phalarope!

Palmetto Meadows continues to hop, and in this case, swirl round and round. This beautiful Wilson's Phalarope was spotted and photographed by Marvin DeJong at the edge of the same casual water that has hosted Willets, a Merlin, Pipits, Plovers and a variety of other shorebirds in recent days and weeks. It's truly the most colorful phalarope that I personally have ever seen. I cut and pasted this interesting information from the Audubon website:

"Wilson's Phalarope shows sexual role reversal--females are more colorful than males, perform a courtship display, and may mate with more than one male. To court males, females stretch out their colorful necks, puff out their neck feathers, and make a husky call. Once a female mates with a given male, she leaves a set of eggs with him, and then moves on to attempt to mate with other males. The female might help choose a nest site, but the male completes the construction of a nest, which is a shallow depression on the ground, near water. A typical clutch of four eggs is incubated by a male for 18-27 days. The downy chicks leave the nest within a day of hatching, and find their own food. The male does tend to the young for some time, brooding them when they are very young, and attempting to lure away potential predators with a broken-wing display."

In addition, a few more recent arrivals cooperated with us for close up views. Marvin took this great photo of the Dickcissel, and I took all the mediocre photos below.

This is the week for non-stop birding in SW Missouri. I can't wait to get out in the field as often as possible. Sunday I lead a trip to Red Bridge Road and Tabor Hollow in southern Christian County for neotropical warbers, and on Tuesday, I've taken a day off to do my annual Big Day. I'm currently find myself obsessing over my strategy. Again, Marvin will join me, so we should bring back great photos from the day!


N8 said...

Great bird! Great photo!

Greg said...

Thanks, she was a beauty. Marvin is getter better by the day. You can see a lot of his spring photos on the GOAS Message Board. I was hoping to see the 8 Willets there the day before, but strong south winds tempted them northward....

marvin d said...

Well Greg, YOU were the one who spotted the Phalarope, not me. That's how I use you; to spot birds that I can photograph. I might never have seen the bird through my lens, but you found it with your scope. Thanks, mentor.