Greater Yellowlegs

Tringa melanoleuca

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes and Allies (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

GRYE

Code 6

TRIMEL

ITIS

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ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Greater Yellowlegs has a large range, estimated globally at 4,100,000 square kilometers. It is native to the Americas and nearby island nations, though it has been spotted throughout Europe and Asia. This bird prefers forest, shrubland, wetland, and marine ecosystems, though it has been known to live near water storage areas and flooded agricultural land. The global population of this bird is estimated to be 100,000 individuals and the population does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. Because of its population status, the current evaluation level of the Greater Yellowlegs is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Greater Yellowlegs: This large sandpiper has mottled brown, gray and white upperparts. The underparts are white with dark streaks and spots. The bill is slightly upturned and the legs are long and yellow. Its long barred tail and white rump are conspicuous in flight. It feeds on insects, insect larvae and small fish. It has a swift direct flight, sometimes at great heights. Sexes are similar.


Range and Habitat

Greater Yellowlegs: Breeds from south-central Alaska to Newfoundland. Spends winters mainly along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and across the southern states, along the Gulf coast, and into Mexico and the Caribbean. Breeds on tundra and marshy ground; frequents pools, lakeshores, and tidal mudflats on migration.

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SONGS AND CALLS

Voice Text

"whew-whew-whew"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Although the Greater Yellowlegs is common and widespread, its low densities and tendency to breed in inhospitable, mosquito-ridden muskegs make it one of the least-studied shorebirds on the continent.
  • They often feed actively, running after fish or other fast-moving aquatic prey.
  • A group of yellowlegs are collectively known as an "incontinence" of yellowlegs.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP

CERange Map for Greater Yellowlegs

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Imran Kahn

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX
Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.
UpperpartsX
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X