The grey phalarope is in fact mostly red in colour when in Svalbard. It is a delicately built wader, with a slender neck and small head. The grey phalarope has a circumpolar high arctic breeding distribution. It is found during summer in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard, Novaya Zemlya and northern Siberia. In Svalbard this species breeds over large parts of the archipelago, though in highest densities on Spitsbergen, Tusenøyane and Bjørnøya. Grey phalaropes have ”reversed” sex roles. It is the female that performs the courtship displays and participates most in territorial defence, while the male incubates the next and rears the young.