Returning Red-necked Phalaropes

In the meantime, we have been catching Red-necked Phalaropes to equip them with geolocators. Red-necked Phalaropes appear to be not as site-faithful as, for example, Long-tailed Skuas, so in order to increase the chance of getting recaptures (necessary to read out the data), we only place them in ‘phalarope-heaven’. Gelmetje, that is. This is a small tundra area, squeezed in between the wet valley Marsevaggie in the west and the Vindelälven river valley in the east. It is full of small ponds, partially overgrown with floating Carex vegetation.

As you may remember from last year, we recaptured a breeding male phalarope in 2012 that was ringed at the same place in 2011 as a chick. Today, we recaptured it again, just a few hundred meters further west! It was kind enough to show us its nest while we were looking at it from about 10 meters! We also recaptured another phalarope that was captured in Gelmetje last year. This is promising, as it shows that at least some individuals return to the same area. Now lets hope they return next year with a logger full of data!

Phalaropes have webbed feet for paddling.
Phalaropes have webbed feet for paddling.

One thought on “Returning Red-necked Phalaropes

  1. robvanbemmelen June 20, 2013 / 1:11 pm

    Update: yesterday we captured another four phalaropes and attached geolocators on them. Surprisingly, two of them were already ringed in 2012! That means we have an amazing 100% return/recapture rate from 2012 to 2013 (sample size is small though: four). But where are the birds ringed and geologged in 2011? We retrapped none of them, unfortunetely.
    Tomorrow we will visit Gelmetje again and try to fit the last two geolocators. We need to find at least one new nest for this, but I think we found (allmost) all phalarope nests in the area…

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