Saturday, May 17, 2008

More Birds from the Spring Weekend

Pete Dunne just walked into my office a few moments ago to let me know of a BLACK-NECKED STILT (a very uncommon bird to be seen in Cape May, though this is the perfect timing for this species to show up in South Jersey) flew over and possibly landed in the TNC's Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge. Keep your eye open for this species if you are birding the proper habitatin Cape May or any where in the county for that matter.

Capt. Ginny of Wildlife Unlimited (The Skimmer) called this morning to report a sighting of a Red-necked Phalarope in Swain's Channel as seen from one of the boat trips yesterday. A couple of photos of the phalarope are below.

Note this bird is a female phalarope given that she has a good amount of color on her neck. Unlike most avian species the roles of male and female are reversed in phalaropes. The female is the larger and more brightly colored of the sexes. Females also take the lead in courtship but males take care of incubation and rearing of young. Another interesting tid-bit to note is that phalaropes tend to forage while swimming (often seen spinning in circles, possibly to stir up their food source and make it easier to glean from the surface of the water) unlike other shorebird which wade around to forage.

More to come......

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