This is my day 11 contribution to Becky’s April Squares: Top photo challenge.
This one will need some explaining. These are Wilson’s Phalaropes feeding on Middle Quill Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada. One of the three species that make up the Phalarope family of birds.
Phalaropes are waders (known as shorebirds in North America) with a couple of interesting features. One of their feeding techniques is to spin in circles when swimming. It’s unusual enough for a wader species to swim let alone spin in circles. The reason for the spinning is that it stirs up the water and mud on the bottom to bring food to the surface.
The other interesting feature of Phalaropes is that the females have the brighter, more impressive plumage while the males are duller. In this photo it’s a colourful female in front and a duller male behind. The reason for this is because once the female has laid her eggs she clears off, leaving the more camouflaged male to incubate the eggs and raise the young.