red necked phalarope

Catching prey using Vortices

I was reading about Vortices and after hours of research online, out of the blue I stumbled upon this amazing bird. This is the Red Necked Phalarope and from the looks of it seems to have put vortices to a really productive use - catching its prey.

By rotating around ~60-80 times a minute, it produces an upward vortex that sucks out insects/bugs/crustaceans from the water, which it swiftly picks up with its beak and eats. ( This one would have aced the Fluids class for sure :D)

This is analogous to tornadoes sweeping up cars and houses along its way in an upward swirl.

Mind Blown!

** The actual dynamics of vortices of course is waay more complicated. ;)

*** There are three species of phalarope (red-necked, red/grey, and Wilson’s), and they can all feed like that.            


red-necked phalarope by hawk person
Via Flickr:
Monterey Harbor, CA

anonymous asked:

Hello - sorry to bother you, but the name of that bird that uses vortices to feed is spelled wrong in your post (it should be phalarope, not phalarophe); also, the red-necked phalarope isn't unique among birds - there are three species of phalarope (red-necked, red/grey, and Wilson's), and they can all feed like that.

Hello, thank you very much ! Very much appreciated.. Necessary changes have been made in the actual post…

Odinshühnchen, isländisch Óðinshani (Phalaropus lobatus). 

Red-necked-phalarope, icelandic Óðinshani (Phalaropus lobatus).

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