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Phalaropus lobatus (Red-necked phalarope) 

Rooihalsfraiingpoot [Afrikaans]; Grauwe franjepoot [Dutch]; Phalarope à bec étroit [French]; Odinshühnchen [German]; Falaropo-de-bico-fino [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Charadriiformes > Family: Scolopacidae

Phalaropus lobatus (Red-necked phalarope)  Phalaropus lobatus (Red-necked phalarope) 

Red-necked phalarope in non-breeding plumage, Veldrif, South Africa.  [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Red-necked phalarope in non-breeding plumage, Veldrif, South Africa.  [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Breeds in the circumpolar region from 65-30° North, heading south in the non-breeding season to the coast and adjacent ocean of Peru, the Arabian Peninsula and the South China Sea, while it is a vagrant to the Old World in including southern Africa. Here it is a rare visitor to the coast of the Western Cape and central Namibia while a rare vagrant to KwaZulu-Natal, with two inland records in the Caprivi Strip and Gauteng. It generally stays at sea in the non-breeding season, although in southern Africa it generally prefers coastal salt pans and sewage works.

Movements and migrations

It is present in southern Africa from September-April, mainly November-March.


It mainly eats copepods, crustaceans and insects, doing most of its foraging in shallow water along with other birds such as Pied avocets, Curlew sandpipers, Ruffs, Common greenshanks, Hartlaub's gulls and Cape teals. It catches prey with downward jabs of its bill, often spinning around on the spot to create a vortex which draws prey towards it.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town.