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Greater Yellowlegs

Tringa melanoleuca ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: SCOLOPACIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A common, tall, long-legged shorebird of freshwater ponds and tidal marshes, the Greater Yellowlegs frequently announces its presence by its piercing alarm calls.

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Appearance

Shorebirds
Shorebirds
Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized to large shorebird.
  • Long, bright yellow legs.
  • Rather long neck and bill.
  • White rump and tail.

Immature Description

Similar to adult, but less heavily marked.

Range Map Help

Greater Yellowlegs Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

Similar Species

  • The two yellowlegs species are very similar. Size is marked different when they appear together and can be compared against each other. Greater Yellowlegs's bill appears slightly upturned and blunt-tipped, while Lesser Yellowlegs's bill is straight and sharp-pointed. Lesser's bill is always dark, while Greater's bill is grayish at the base in nonbreeding season. Voice is best distinguishing character: Greater gives three or four piercing notes, Lesser two rapid, softer short whistles (sometimes or or three).
  • Solitary Sandpiper has greenish legs and a barred tail.
  • Stilt Sandpiper is smaller, has greenish yellow legs, and a slightly drooping bill.