Wilson’s Phalarope

May 16, 2014 at 6:00 am (Bird photography, Nature, Nature photography, Photography) (, )

Wilson's Phalarope female

Wilson’s Phalarope female

Sometimes I find the neatest birds at truck stops.  After my disappointment at not being able to fit in a detour to a couple of National Wildlife Refuges in northern Nebraska, I was amazed to find a flock of interesting birds feeding like whirling dervishes in a little pond at a truck stop in southern Nebraska.

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Another lifer for my bird list:  Wilson’s phalarope!  They were each twirling or spinning in tight circles to stir up prey which they pretty much nibbled from the top of the water.

Male shoveler and Wilson's phalaropes

Male shoveler and Wilson’s phalaropes

I was surprised to learn that the sexual roles are switched in this species.  The female is by far the prettiest, and takes the lead in courtship and defense.  I think God must have had a good time trying out new ideas when She made the world.

Shoveler and male phalarope

Shoveler and male phalarope

A pair of shoveler ducks was also in this pond.  You can see the male phalarope is the Plain Jane compared to his mate.

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