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Greater Yellowlegs - Tringa melanoleuca

Characteristics
Range
Habitat
Diet
Life Cycle
Behavior

 Classification

 Phylum:
Chordata
 Class: Aves
 Order: Charadriiformes
 Family: Scolopacidae
 Genus:  Tringa


Greater Yellowlegs
ICUN Redlist - World Status: Least ConcernLeast Concern
    Audio Credit: xeno-canto.org Ricardo Gagliardi cc logo
  Characteristics
Greater YellowlegsThe greater yellowlegs is a medium-sized wading bird that is about 11-14 inches in length. It has very long yellow legs and a long, slightly turned up bill. Its tail is marked with black bars. Its back and wing areas are a streaked grayish-brown. Its face, neck, chest and belly are white with brown and gray speckles.

  Range
mapThe greater yellowlegs breeds from south-central Alaska east to Newfoundland. It winters on the Pacific coast from Washington south, on the Atlantic coast from Virginia south, and along the Gulf Coast.

  Habitat
Greater YellowlegsThe greater yellowlegs breeds on the tundra and marshy areas. During migration and in the winter it can be found on lakeshores and tidal mudflats.




  Diet
Greater YellowlegsThe greater yellowlegs wades through the shallow water with its long legs, sweeps its head back and forth and skims up small fish and aquatic animals in its turned up bill. It will also run after fish and stab them with its long, pointed bill. It swallows its prey whole. Sometimes it has to reposition a fish a couple of times before it can swallow it. It feeds during the day and the night.
  Life Cycle
The male will run around the female in circles while holding up his wings to attract her. The female lays 4 eggs in a depression in the ground on a damp, open spot. The chicks hatch in 23 days and fledge in 18-20 days. Both parents incubate the eggs and feed the chicks.

  Behavior
Greater YellowlegsThe greater yellowleg's call is a series of musical whistles. It is a very noisy bird. It often runs in shallow water and bobs its head up and down when it spots a potential predator. It is more solitary than most shorebirds, but it does migrate in groups. It has a high-stepping walk and will sometimes run with its neck stretched out. It also swims on the water from time to time to get to more shallow waters or to escape predators.

 


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