Photo and Haiku for 01 May 2021

Wilson’s Phalarope

Females are more colorful

Males raise the young

Wilson’s Phalarope, Phalaropus tricolor, La Plata County, Colorado, USA, North America

These birds are really interesting. You ladies might like this:

Unlike most birds where the female has the predominant role in caring for young, female phalaropes desert their mates once they’ve laid eggs. While the male raises the young by himself, the female looks for other males to mate with. This unusual mating system is called polyandry, and it’s reflected in the way the two sexes look, with the females more brightly colored than the males.

Wilson’s Phalaropes are one of only two species of shorebirds that molt at resting sites on the migration pathway, rather than on the breeding grounds before leaving or on the wintering grounds.

When feeding they spin round and round in the nutrient-rich waters, creating whirlpools that stir up invertebrates that will fuel their migration to South America. Females are rich peachy and gray, and are more colorful than the males. Females court and defend male mates—several per season—

Long-distance migrant. Females depart breeding areas first, followed by males and finally juveniles. All birds stop for several weeks during migration at saline lakes to take advantage of abundant invertebrate food. By mid-September, they are in South America—in high-elevation lakes in the Andes, as well as in the Patagonian lowlands and Tierra del Fuego.

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