|Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Aves (Birds) Order: Charadriiformes Family: Scolopacidae|
Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicaria) - female
Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicaria) is a vagrant bird in India. Size: 21-23 cm
Description: All plumages: As in all phalarope species, front toes lobed, and webbed at base; legs and feet dull yellow. Adult female in summer: Back striped with black and light ochre; cap black; cheeks white; underparts brownish red. Adult male in summer: Similar but crown streaked; less white on face. Adults in winter: Slate-blue mantle; white head, with poorly defined dark spot about eye extending back over ear region; a stripe down nape; mainly white underparts.
Range: Circumpolar, along the coasts and islands of the High Arctic. Winters at sea, off western and southwestern Africa, and off Peru.
Remarks: Except at nesting time the Red Phalarope are at home on the open sea where they wander about, often in very large flocks. They are especially common along the outer edges of major ocean currents, such as those off the coasts of Peru and Senegal, where the zooplankton on which they feed is abundantly concentrated at the sea surface. To some mariners they are known as "whale-birds" or "sea-geese." The first name refers to the fact that baleen whales often feed on the same concentrations of zooplankton as do the phalaropes. The second name is an onomatopoeic rendition of their twittering calls.