Steganopus tricolor Vieillot, 1819, Paraguay. Monotypic.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
French: Phalarope de Wilson; German: Wilsonwassertreter; Spanish: Falaropo Tricolor.
8.7–9.5 in (22–24 cm); male 0.07–0.24 lb (30–110 g), female 0.11–0.28 lb (52–128 g). Sexual dimorphism. Female has grayish white cap and nape; black band from bill through eye to side of breast; orange foreneck and upper breast; blue-gray mantle and wing-coverts; reddish chestnut edging on mantle and scapulars. Male has generally darker and duller upperparts.
Alberta and California east to Great Lakes. Winters from North Peru to Uruguay and Tierra del Fuego.
Marshy wetlands on prairies; winters at ponds in pampas, mudflats, and high-altitude saline lakes.
Often very tame.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Takes mostly aquatic insects and crustaceans. Feeds while swimming, spins less than other phalaropes; usually pecks from water or mud, also upends, probes, and scythes through water with bill.
Usually monogamous; sometimes polyandrous. Male incubates eggs and cares for young. Lays eggs May–June. Nest scrape in fairly tall, dense vegetation near water. Clutch contains four eggs with an incubation of 18–27 days. Hatching success 12–50%, sometimes 0%.
Population estimated at 1 million in 1994 and considered stable in 2000.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
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