“The Phalarope” by Marque Dobrow

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The phalarope is a small shorebird which belongs to the sandpiper family. They are known for their distinctive nesting behaviour, and their unique feeding technique. The males and females do not fulfil typical gender roles.





The Phalarope


Have you heard of the phalarope bird?

Now I give you my word ~ its name isn’t absurd.

In terms of physique it couldn’t be slimmer

Which helps to make it an excellent swimmer.

Their feathers are most often black, red and white,

Then they’re grey in the winter: what a wondrous sight.


Within the Arctic region they breed

Where you’d think it too cold to perform such a deed.

In the Northern Hemisphere they lay eggs, then later

Spend their winters the other side of the equator.


Female phalaropes will court with their mate

Who in turn builds a nest so he may incubate.

The she-bird is larger in size than her fella,

So if she gained weight, I doubt he would tell her.

But here’s a grand fact that I think is worth hearing:

It’s the male who does the young phalarope-rearing.


And so, as these verses are nearing their end

Please consider the phalarope your friend.

If ever you see one from the ground down below

Keep your eyes gazing skyward and call out “hello”.


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