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Greater Yellowlegs and Lesser Yellowlegs

May 30, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

The Greater Yellowlegs and the Lesser Yellowlegs are similar in appearance.  Although the Greater Yellowlegs usually has a longer and upturned bill this is not a reliable means of separating the species since the bill lengths of the two species overlap and the upturn in the Greater Yellowlegs bill is not always prominent enough to be diagnostic.

Both species are Canadian birds, born and raised in the Canadian Tundra, but a few Greater Yellowlegs do nest in Nova Scotia although the presence of both species can overlap.

The most reliable way to separate the species is by size since the Greater Yellowlegs is larger, quite evident when the two species are side by side. They can be separated most reliably by song. The Greater Yellowlegs has a three part song whereas the Lesser Yellowlegs has a one or two part song. The songs of both species is usually uttered when the birds take flight.

 

Greater Yellowlegs

Wexford Hunt at Newbawn 101221-06603Wexford Hunt at Newbawn 101221-06603

Lesser Yellowlegs


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