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Red-necked phalarope        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Two species of phalaropes breed on the North Slope of Alaska: the large red phalarope and this species, the red-necked phalarope.   Both are polyandrous:   females mate with one male, produce a clutch of eggs, leave them with the male, and repeat the process with other males.   Females contribute no parental care and depart the breeding grounds shortly after finishing their last clutch.   Since the female's reproductive output is limited by how many males she can mate with, males become a limiting resource and females compete strongly for them.   Consequently, females are larger, more colorful, and more aggressive than males.   Both sexes molt into a rather plain winter plumage after the breeding season.   These were photographed at at Churchill, Manitoba, and near Utqiagvik, Alaska; the winter plumage birds were photographed at Bolsa Chica wetlands in coastal Orange County, at Mono Lake, and the Salton Sea, all in California.   More photos of this species are here.

  • Canon 1D Mk. II, 1D4, or 7D2; 500 mm IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens with 1.4X converter, most with fill-in flash (2004, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)