Answer to Mystery Bird Quiz: Wilson’s Phalarope!

Alex LamoreauxBirding, Identification, Photography, quiz birds1 Comment

Thanks to everyone that participated in the Mystery Bird Quiz I posted last week. I received many guesses via comments on the post, personal emails, and through personal conversations. Most people that provided a guess suggested that the bird was a Willet because of the gray color and long black legs. Others suggested Sanderling, Wilson’s Phalarope, and Hudsonian Godwit.

The correct answer is male Wilson’s Phalarope in breeding plumage! Some things to look at for this identification are the long legs, white underbelly, and grayish upperside, and the overall shape of the bird mainly the fact that it looks a little front-heavy. The legs get thicker nearer the feet, something I always noticed on Wilson’s Phalaropes and I think it gives them a “bell-bottom” look. Below are more photos of that same bird as well as photos of an adult female that was foraging along with it!

Wilson's Phalarope - breeding male

Wilson's Phalarope - breeding male

Wilson's Phalarope - breeding female