Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Least Concern

Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius)


French: Phalarope à bec large German: Thorshühnchen Spanish: Falaropo picogrueso
Other common names: Grey Phalarope

Tringa Fulicaria


, 1758,

Hudson Bay, Canada




Circumpolar, on coasts of Arctic Ocean, in Alaska, Canada, W Greenland, Iceland, Bear I, Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya and C & E Siberia. Winters pelagically mainly off W South America and W & SW Africa; less numerous in America N to California and in CW Atlantic N to North Carolina.

Descriptive notes

20–22 cm; 37–77 g; wingspan 37–40 cm. Larger and chunkier than P. lobatus, with broader, heavier and mainly yellow bill. Reversed sexual dimorphism... read more


Most vocalizations heard only on breeding grounds, but flight call also commonly heard at sea;... read more


Most pelagic of phalaropes. Breeds near coast (sometimes very close to it), on marshy tundra with... read more

Food and feeding

During breeding season takes invertebrates, including insects and their larvae, such as dipteran flies, caddisflies, beetles and bugs, also... read more


Lays mid Jun to mid Jul in Iceland, early Jun to early Jul in Russia, earliest late May at southernmost latitudes in North America, with... read more


Migrates almost exclusively via sea routes; observed migrating 80–160 km offshore (often... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Population size 1,000,000–5,000,000 birds of which 1,900,000 in Russia and 1,000,000–2,500,000 in North America, with... read more

Recommended citation

Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Red Phalarope (Phalaropus fulicarius). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 26 February 2020).