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Lesser Yellowlegs

Tringa flavipes ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: SCOLOPACIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

The Lesser Yellowlegs is a slender, long-legged shorebird that readily shows off the brightly colored legs that give it its name. It is an active feeder, often running through the shallow water to chase its prey.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
9.1–9.8 in
23–25 cm
Wingspan
23.2–25.2 in
59–64 cm
Weight
2.4–3.3 oz
67–94 g
Other Names
  • Petit chevalier (French)
  • Patamarilla menor (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Both the male and female Lesser Yellowlegs provide parental care to the young, but the female tends to leave the breeding area before the chicks can fly, thus leaving the male to defend the young until fledging.

Habitat


Marsh

Breeds in open boreal forest with scattered shallow wetlands. Winters in wide variety of shallow fresh and saltwater habitats.

Food


Insects

Aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, particularly flies and beetles. Occasionally small fish and seeds.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Egg Description
Gray with brown markings.
Condition at Hatching
Downy and able to walk. Leave nest in a few hours after hatching and feed themselves.
Nest Description

Depression in ground or moss, lined with dry grass, decayed leaves, spruce needles or other debris, placed on dry, mossy ridges or hummocks, next to fallen branches and logs, and underneath low shrubs.

Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Probing

Active forager, walks through shallow water and picks up prey on or below water surface, dashes after prey on land.

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations appear stable.

Credits

  • Tibbitts, T. L., and W. Moskoff. 1999. Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes). In The Birds of North America, No. 427 (A.Poole and F.Gill,eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Lesser Yellowlegs Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings