Bird Families

10 incredible displays of sexuality in animals


  • Superclass Tetrapoda Class Birds Aves
  • Order Charadriiformes - Charadriiformes
  • Suborder · Waders - Charadrii [Limicolae]
  • Family Charadriidae - Charadriidae
  • Subfamily Phalaropinae
  • Genus Flat-nosed and round-nosed swimmers - Phalaropus

Round-nosed phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus... small, up to 100 g Easter cake with relatively short legs, the tarsus of which are flattened, and the toes, including the hind one, are equipped with leathery swimming blades. Body length 16-20 cm.

The swimmers feed on a variety of planktonic organisms, swimming on the surface of water bodies and snatching or squeezing them out with a thin or flattened beak from top to bottom. Often they swim in circles or revolve around their own axis, creating areas of increased concentration of shallow food with waves. Sometimes phalaropes are overturned by a "float" like river ducks. occasionally feed on land. The winter outfit is modest - light gray with dark fields, the breeding one is bright, including chestnut-red, gray-gray, black. white, yellow colors. Females are larger and are markedly brighter than males due to the reversal of the sex role. Swimmers are polyandric species, females are more active in mating games. Phalaropes nest on the ground, 3-4 eggs in clutch: male incubates for about 20 days. Having built a nest with one male and laying eggs, they repeat the breeding cycle with another male.

Only males incubate the clutch and lead the brood; only in the flat-nosed phalaroper, a female sometimes joins the brood guardianship. The phalaropes are distributed circularly, including in the tundra and forest-tundra. They nest along the shores of shallow fresh water bodies throughout the Arctic (in both hemispheres), winter in large flocks in the marine areas of the tropics and the southern hemisphere, usually far from the coast.


Notes (edit)

  1. V. E. Sokolov and others
    ... Life of animals. Birds / ed. V.D.Ilicheva, I.V. Mikheeva. - 2nd ed. - M .: Education, 1986. - T. 6. - P. 241. - 300,000 copies.
  2. 12Ed. S.P. Naumova, A.P. Kuzyakina
    ... Life of animals. In 6 volumes. - M .: Education, 1970 .-- T. 5. - S. 292 .-- 612 p. - 300 thousand, copies. (Retrieved December 22, 2010)

Description of the appearance of phalaropes

The round-nosed dandelion is the smallest of all the phalarope species. The birds of this species have a black and thin beak, slightly compressed from the sides. Also a characteristic feature of these birds are leathery edges on the fingers. During the nesting period, birds acquire a special color. The plumage of males at this time becomes paler, gray-black, the area of ​​the neck and chin is usually white. The neck has small parts of red feathers on both sides. The breast, as well as the sides, are covered with gray feathers, the abdomen is white. In females, the color is brighter and more distinct; in winter, the plumage becomes light gray.


To impress the female, the males not only approach her, displaying their size and strength, but also literally dance dirty dances. The female at this time stands still, and when the males are at a close distance from her, they shower her with a shower from their own feces so that she can thus determine the healthiest of them.


Round-nosed swimmer (Phalaropus lobatus) It differs well from other phalaropes of our country with a thin and sharp beak, the holes of the nostrils on which are located at the base of the beak, at the very plumage of the forehead. In an adult female in breeding plumage, the dorsal side of the body is mainly slate-black with a clearly visible ash coating and with reddish stripes along the edges of the back and shoulders. The head is dark gray, with a rusty-red spot on the sides of the neck. This same color can continue to the underside of the neck. The ventral side of the body is white. The male differs from the female by the absence of an ashy color on the upper side of the body, the red color on his neck is less developed. In winter, both sexes have a gray upper side of the body with whitish edges. Females are larger than males. The wing length in females is 9.5-13 cm, in males 10-11 cm. The weight of males and females is from 26 to 47 g. The distribution of the round-nosed phalarope is circular. These are the tundra strip of Eurasia, Iceland, the tundra of Alaska and some places in the tundra north of Canada. Round-nosed phalaropes overwinter mainly in the sea - off the southern coasts of Arabia and Pakistan, off the shores of New Guinea and near the Azores. Apparently, they also winter off the coast of Peru. Sometimes in winter they are also found on land. At nesting sites, phalaropes appear at the end of May, and more often in the first decade of June. Females appear first in spring, and soon after arrival they occupy nesting sites on the swampy shores of small lakes in the tundra. After the arrival of the males, mating games begin, which take place on the water. The female has a more active role in these games. The nest is set up by the male and the female not far from the water on a hummock or in a bunch of grass (sedges, etc.); it is quite well hidden by the rapidly growing herbaceous vegetation. In a full clutch there are usually 4 eggs, occasionally 3. They lie, like all waders, with sharp ends inward and slightly downward. The color of the eggs is olive or brownish-buffy with black-brown or sepia-colored spots. Eggs are 27-33 mm long, 18.5-22.5 mm wide. When the entire clutch is laid, the males begin to incubate, the females at this time keep close to the nests alone or in small flocks. It happens that in the middle of the day, the male and the female swim together in search of food. However, quite soon the females begin to migrate, although some individuals remain for a long time at the nesting sites. Chicks hatch on the 19-21st day of incubation and immediately leave with the male into the water, where they first stay close to the shore. Down jackets can swim in the very first days of life. In Malozemelnaya tundra, the first puffs appear at the end of June, and on July 20-22, most chicks from a distance are already completely indistinguishable from adults. The autumn flight of round-nosed phalaropes takes quite a long time. First, females move out of the nesting area, in the first ten days of July they can be seen, for example, in the Naurzum Nature Reserve. Males, which for some reason did not start nesting, can be found much south of their permanent nesting territory also in July. Nesting males fly away, naturally, later. And in August - September, young birds can be found everywhere on the migration. On the coast of Kamchatka, phalaropes sometimes linger until October. Round-nosed phalaropes feed on insect larvae and other terrestrial, but mainly aquatic invertebrates. Usually phalaropes get food by pecking prey from the surface of the water while swimming. He is very mobile on the water, always turns in different directions, often turns and constantly nods his head. Sometimes phalaropes join ducks, toadstools, awl beaks, which, while feeding, stir up the water and the bottom layer of silt, as a result of which bottom insects and their larvae rise upward. Sometimes phalaropes themselves try to raise the bottom layer of silt. Round-nosed phalaropes are very gullible birds. In non-nesting time, they keep in flocks. The voice of round-nosed phalaropes is a quick, gentle drink-drink-drink-drink. During takeoff, a kind of grunting is heard, somewhat reminiscent of the grunting of a snipe.


5. Flat-nosed phalarope - Phalaropus fulicarius L.

IN. From a starling. OP. The upper body is variegated, reddish-black, the underside is rusty-red, the cheeks are white, the cap and throat are black. The base of the beak is yellow. The male is paler, with a white belly and without a black cap. The bill is shorter than that of the round-nosed phalarope and is slightly flattened. G. A quick tick-tick-tick, ending with a cry of "krriy ... crriy." From. It differs from the round-nosed phalarope with a short flattened beak, yellow legs and a bright red-brown color. B. Swampy tundra and lakes, on the fly - reservoirs of various landscapes. HP. Migrant. Mr. Nest in sedge bush. The clutch contains 4 olive-buffy eggs with brown spots.

  • Tie. Sea plover. Small plover. Mongolian plover. Caspian plover. Thick-billed plover. Eastern plover. Ussuriisky plover, tab. XL
  • Blackie. Fifi. Guardsman. Carrier, tab. XLI
  • Morodunka. Garshnen. Sea sandpiper. Kulnk-spatula, tab. XLII
  • Dunlin. Red-breasted dunl. Icelandic sandpiper. Round-nosed phalarope. Phalarope, tab. XLIII
  • Rockstones. Dutysh. Sharp-tailed sandpiper. Big sandpiper, tab. XLIV
  • Verdov Sandpiper. White-tailed sandpiper. Red-breasted sandpiper. The web-toed sandpiper. Long-toed sandpiper, tab. XLV
  • Gerbil. Zheltozobik. Sparrow sandpiper. Gryazovik, tab. XLVI
  • Steppe tirkushka. Meadow teirkushka. Northern storm petrel. Gray-headed storm petrel. Great snipe. Snipe. Asiatic snipe, tab. XLVII
  • Golden bee-eater. Green bee-eater. Thick-billed warbler. Thrush warbler. Nightjar. Bucky nightjar, tab. XLVIII
  • Two-spotted lark. White-winged lark. Steppe lark. Black lark. Mongolian lark. Common dipper. Brown dipper, tab. XLIX
  • Gray shrike. Wedge-tailed shrike. Long-tailed shrike. Black-fronted shrike. Red-headed shrike. Japanese shrike. Punochka, tab. L
  • Zhulan. Central Asian shrift. Maina. Pink starling, tab. LI
  • How to use the qualifier


The phalarope is about 21 cm long, with lobed toes and a straight beak, which is somewhat thicker than that of the round-nosed phalarope (Phalaropus lobatus

). Male weight 42-51 g, female - 57-60 g. Wing length 12-14 cm]. Females during the breeding season are black on the upper body and red on the bottom, with a white spot on the cheek. The beak is yellow, with a black tip. Juveniles are light gray or brown on the upper part, the lower part of the body is buffalo skin color, there are dark spots on the eyes. In winter, the plumage is gray-white
Females are larger in size than males. They chase males, compete for breeding territory, and actively defend their nests. The nest is located near the water. The female lays from three to six olive-black eggs and migrates south, after which the male begins to incubate the eggs. Chicks, as a rule, are able to feed themselves, and they can fly by 18 days of life.

During feeding, flat-nosed phalaropes often swim in a small, fast circle, forming a weak whirlpool. Sometimes they fly in the air, catching insects. In the open ocean, they feed near whale populations. Out of nesting season they often travel in flocks

Phalaropes can very often be tame and easily get used to humans.

Where do the round-nosed phalaropes live?

Phalaropes usually set up their nests in the tundra, as well as in the forest-tundra. Basically, these birds choose the shores of lakes and marshlands as a place to live. During wintering, birds move to other territories, but they can be found most often on the open sea or on the coast.

How do phalaropes live and behave?

During the nesting period, these birds usually create colonies of a small number of individuals. Nests are mainly found in low plants and also in moss. These birds use various leaves and stems as bedding. Phalaropes usually lay eggs from early May to July. On average, females lay 4 eggs per clutch, the eggs are olive-colored and have dark spots. After the females lay their eggs, they immediately fly south. Mostly males hatch eggs, this process takes up to three weeks in time. Phalaropes only have one brood per year. After hatching, the chicks self-feed. Already after 20 days, the offspring can fly and swim on their own. Males leave the offspring as soon as the chicks begin to move independently. After this, broods, as a rule, disintegrate.

A distinctive feature of this species of birds is how easily they behave in flight. Swimmers, moreover, are very fond of staying on the water. Round-nosed phalaropes have a very squeaky voice, and they are also distinguished by their trust. In the menu of these birds, there are mainly invertebrates that live in the water. Interestingly, these birds are excellent swimmers, and can also dive easily due to the fringes on their toes. The process of foraging is reduced to the fact that the phalaroper turns around its axis and stir up the water around itself. This greatly facilitates the process of capturing invertebrates.

Relatives of round-nosed phalaropes

The most common relative of round-nosed phalaropes is the flat-nosed phalarope. This species is distributed mainly in the extreme arctic region. Unlike round-nosed, this species of phalaropes is large in size and body weight, as well as a different color. Flat-nosed individuals are covered with chestnut and brick-colored feathers in the neck and lower body. Birds have a cone-shaped beak, it is rather short and usually yellow in color. You can rarely meet these birds in Italy during the wintering period.


The beak is longer, thinner, subulate. The upper and chest are blackish-gray with red streaks on the back, the throat and abdomen are white, the neck is bright red in front. The male is noticeably paler. In winter, the top is brownish-gray with ocher, the whole bottom is white, there is a black stripe across the eye.


Inhabitant of tundra and forest-tundra, during migration it is found in water bodies of various landscapes. Migrant. Common, in places numerous. Nests in damp grassy or hummocky areas around lakes, nest is built by both parents, usually in sedge bush, litter of dry willow stems and leaves. Clutch from early June, consists of 4 olive-buffy eggs with black-brown spots. The male incubates the eggs and leads the chicks, the females usually fly to the south after the end of the laying of eggs.

From the nest, the bird flies from under the feet of a person, descends not far and quickly returns. During the mating season, the voice sounds like "kick-kick-kick-three-kick", in case of alarm - "chrri-chriy". Very trusting, lets a person close. It feeds on water, feeds on insect larvae, crustaceans, molluscs.

It differs from the flat-nosed phalarope in color, in winter (and young ones) it is small in size, with a subulate, relatively long beak and dark legs.