- 11.4–13 in
- 23.6 in
- 3.9–8.3 oz
- Grand chevalier à pattes jaunes (French)
- Patamarilla mayor (Spanish)
- 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.
Breeds in muskeg, wet bogs with small wooded islands, and forests (usually coniferous) with abundant clearings. Winters in wide variety of shallow fresh and saltwater habitats.
Small aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates, small fish, frogs, and occasionally seeds and berries.
- Egg Description
- Gray to brown with dark markings.
- Condition at Hatching
- Downy and able to walk. Leave nest in a few hours after hatching and feed themselves.
Shallow scrape or depression in moss or peat on ground, lined with dead leaves, lichens, grasses, and short, thin spruce twigs
Wades in water and picks up prey it sees, sweeps bill side-to-side through water to catch prey by feel.
Greater Yellowlegs populations appear to have increased between 1966 and 2014, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. There is considerable variability among datasets on population counts, but a 2012 study estimates the North American population at 137,000 birds. Greater Yellowlegs is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.
- Elphick, C. S., and T. L. Tibbitts. 1998. Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca). In The Birds of North America, No. 355 (A. Poole and F. Gill,eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
- Andres, B.A., P.A. Smith, R.I.G. Morrison, C.L. Gratto-Trevor, S.C. Brown, and C.A. Friis. 2012. Population estimates of North American Shorebirds, 2012. Wader Study Group Bulletin 119:178–194. Available from the U.S. Shorebird Conservation Plan website.
- North American Bird Conservation Initiative, U.S. Committee. 2014. State of the Birds 2014 Report. U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, DC.
- USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center. 2014. North American Breeding Bird Survey 1966–2014 Analysis.