Posted by: atowhee | May 14, 2012

SWIRLING DERVISHES

It is the season for the spiffy Red-necked Phalarope to make their northward migration along the Pacific Coast.  In the past week they’ve been spotted all over the San Francisco Bay Area.  That means soon they’ll be passing Oregon and some may even linger on a lake here in Jackson County though most stay along the coast.
Here’s link to youtube video of these birds swirling about the Palace of Fine Arts Lagoon in San Francisco. Pictures and video by my friend, Thomas Duane.
These elegant, thin-legged shorebirds do most of their foraging on the surface of quiet waters which they stir up by swirling about, creating a vortex or whirlpool. The Red Phalarope tends to winter far offshore while the Wilson’s is a more inland (and larger) bird. It stops each August while southbound at Mono Lake and breeds in large numbers at Malheur in eastern Oregon.


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