PHALAROPE (from Gk. ga2.apic, phalaris, coot, iroi.c, polls, foot). A sandpiper-like shore bird of the family Phalaropodithe. having lobate feet and a rather long bill, which is slender, weak, and straight. Phalaropes differ from sandpipers, however, in that they spend the greater part of their time in swimming on the sea, where they seek mollusks and other small marine animals for their food. They are very fearless of man and are said to be easily tamable. hut the flesh is oily and unpalatable. The phalaropes differ from most other birds in the remarkable relative con dition of the two sexes, The females are not only larger and more brightly colored. but they do the . courting, and, after they have secured a mate and laid their 3 or 4 eggs. they leave the male to do the incubating. Three species only are known, all inhabitants of the Northern Hemisphere and two circumpolar. Each is now made the type of its own genus. The northern phalarope (Pha laropes lobatus) has the membrane of the toes scalloped and the bill very slender. it breeds in the Arctic regions and migrates southward on the approach of winter. The nest is a shallow de pression in the ground lined with grass and moss. The eggs are olive-gray or buffy-white, heavily blotched with chocolate-brown. Its entire length
is rather less than s inches. The tail is short. It is a beautiful bird, and remarkable for the great difference of its summer and winter plum age, the prevailing tint in winter being a delicate gray, while in sunnier the upper parts exhibit a fine mixture of slate-gray and buff, sides and front of neck rufous, and the breast and under parts are white. The red phalarope (Cry,tm philus fulicarius) is rather larger than the northern phalarope, and is, like it, very graceful in form and movements, and finely colored. The membrane of the toes is scalloped, but the hill is stouter, flattened, and has a lancet-shaped tip. The third species is Wilson's phalarope ga ;topes tricolor) , which is an American bird, found in summer north to the Saskatchewan. and in winter south to Brazil and Patagonia. It is rare in the East, but abundant in the Valley. It is the largest of the three specie., being nine inches or more in length. The toe membranes are plain and unsealloped. Consult: Cones, Dird-s of the Northwest (Wa-hington, 1874). See Plate of EGGS OF WATER AND GAME BIRDS.