BIRDS OF ICELAND red-necked phalarope, Phalaropus lobatus

Phalaropus lobatus; the red-necked phalarope can easily be recognized by the grey or black head and the red neck (running from back to front in the female - less so in the male). It can be found in all kind of wetlands during the breeding season but turns to sea in winter, mainly in more southern regions of the eastern Atlantic. It has a special way of hunting water insects: they swim in circles and then catch the insects by quick picking movements. These elegant birds make their nests in grasslands. Red-necked Phalarope males breed the eggs on their nests. The female is darker on the back and especially the head, where the males are lighter colored with more yellowish feathers on the back. In general the colors are less conspicuous in the males which relate to the peculiar feature that it is the male - not the female - that does the breeding. Next to this common phalarope one may encounter the rare grey phalarope on Iceland from the end of may to early august. It is a more northern species which spends only a short time at their breeding grounds. Outside the breeding period they move to sea and stay west of northern Africa during the winter period. Migrants from northern regions pass Iceland but are rarely seen on land.

A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise
Other Wader and Stilt species

Other Wader and Stilt species

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Natural History of Iceland Site  in Dutch

Natural History of Iceland Site  Dutch