Unsorted Wild Birds

Lesser Yellowlegs

Lesser Yellowlegs

The Lesser Yellowlegs, Tringa flavipes, is a medium-sized shorebird similar in appearance to the larger Greater Yellowlegs. It is not closely related to this bird, however, but instead to the much larger and quite dissimilar willet (Pereira and Baker, 2005); merely the fine, clear, and dense pattern of the neck shown in breeding plumage indicates these species’ actual relationships.

Adults have long yellow legs and a long thin dark bill, about the same length as the head. The body is grey-brown on top and white underneath; the neck and breasts are streaked with dark brown. The tail is white.

Their breeding habitat is clearings near ponds in the boreal forest region from Alaska to Quebec. They nest on the ground, usually in open dry locations.

They migrate to the Gulf Coast of the United States and south to South America.

This species is a regular vagrant to western Europe, and the odd bird has wintered in Great Britain.

These birds forage in shallow water, sometimes using their bill to stir up the water. They mainly eat insects, small fish and crustaceans.

The call of this bird is softer than that of the Greater Yellowlegs.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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