One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small wading or swimming bird with a straight bill and lobed feet, unusual in that the female is more brightly coloured than the male.
Genus Phalaropus, family Scolopacidae (subfamily Phalaropodinae): three species
- ‘The best known of sex-role-reversed shorebirds are the spotted sandpiper, phalaropes (genus Phalaropus), and jacanas (family Jacanidae).’
- ‘In the mud flats of the Bay of Fundy, you'll see large roosts of shorebirds - plovers, yellowlegs, godwits, curlews, and phalaropes - at high tide.’
- ‘An estimated 1.5 million eared grebes, 50,000 Wilson's phalaropes, 50,000 California gulls, and 200 snowy plovers visit Mono Lake each spring and summer.’
- ‘The Red-necked Phalarope (formerly the Northern Phalarope) is the smallest of the three phalaropes and has the shortest bill.’
- ‘Red Phalaropes are the least common of the two ocean-going phalaropes, seen about half as often on boat trips as Red-necked Phalaropes.’
Late 18th century: from French, from modern Latin Phalaropus, formed irregularly from Greek phalaris ‘coot’ + pous, pod- ‘foot’.
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