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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 the rather plain winter plumage shown here after the breeding season.   These were photographed at the Elkhorn Slough estuary in California.   More photos of this species are here.

  • Canon R7; 800 mm IS lens with 1.4X converter, some with fill-in flash (2022)