Greater Yellowlegs

The Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) is a large shorebird found throughout much of North America. This species measures approximately 13 to 15 inches (33 to 38 cm) in length, with a wingspan of 28 to 32 inches (71 to 81 cm) and weighs between 4.8 to 8.1 ounces (135 to 230 grams).

The Greater Yellowlegs is easily distinguished from other shorebirds by its long, bright yellow legs, and its slender, slightly upturned bill which measures about 2.5 to 3.5 inches (6.4 to 8.9 cm) in length. This species has a mottled gray-brown plumage on its upperparts and a white underbelly.

The Greater Yellowlegs is a migratory species, breeding in the boreal forests and wetlands of northern Canada and Alaska and spending the non-breeding season along the coasts of the United States, Mexico, Central America, and northern South America. These birds undertake long-distance migrations, with some individuals traveling up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) each way.

This species can be found in a variety of habitats, including freshwater marshes, tidal flats, and mudflats, where they feed on a wide range of invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. They use their long bills to probe into the mud or sand to extract their prey. During migration, they can also be found in coastal habitats such as beaches and estuaries.

Greater Yellowlegs

The Greater Yellowlegs is a relatively common species, but like many shorebirds, it faces threats from habitat loss and degradation, climate change, and disturbance by humans and predators. Conservation efforts are underway to protect this species, including the designation of Important Bird Areas and the development of management plans to protect breeding and migratory habitats.

Copyright 2024