Lesser yellowlegs

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Lesser yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Tringa
T. flavipes
Binomial name
Tringa flavipes
(Gmelin, 1789)
Tringa flavipes map.svg

Totanus flavipes

The lesser yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) is a medium-sized shorebird. The genus name Tringa is the New Latin name given to the green sandpiper by Aldrovandus in 1599 based on Ancient Greek trungas, a thrush-sized, white-rumped, tail-bobbing wading bird mentioned by Aristotle. The specific flavipes is from Latin flavus, "yellow", and pes, "foot".[2]


South Padre Island - Texas

This species is similar in appearance to the larger greater yellowlegs, although it is more closely related to the much larger willet;[3] the fine, clear and dense pattern of the neck shown in breeding plumage indicates these species' actual relationships.


The lesser yellowlegs is a medium-large shorebird. The legs are yellow. Compared to the greater yellowlegs, the bill is shorter (visually about the same length as the head), slim, straight, and uniformly dark. The breast is streaked and the flanks are finely marked with short bars.[4]


  • Length: 9.1-10.6 in (23-27 cm)
  • Weight: 2.8-3.2 oz (79.5-90.9 g)
  • Wingspan: 23.2-25.2 in (59-64 cm)


Their breeding habitat is clearings near ponds in the boreal forest region from Alaska to Quebec. They nest on the ground, usually in open dry locations.


They migrate to the Gulf coast of the United States, the Caribbean, and south to South America. This species is a regular vagrant to western Europe; in Great Britain about five birds arrive each year, mostly between August and October,[6] with the occasional individual overwintering.


These birds forage in shallow water, sometimes using their bill to stir up the water. They mainly eat insects, small fish and crustaceans.


The call of this bird is softer than that of the greater yellowlegs.



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Tringa flavipes". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 161, 390. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Pereira, Sérgio Luiz; Baker, Alan J. (2005). "Multiple gene evidence for parallel evolution and retention of ancestral morphological states in the shanks (Charadriiformes: Scolopacidae)". The Condor. 107 (3): 514–526. doi:10.1650/0010-5422(2005)107[0514:MGEFPE]2.0.CO;2.
  4. ^ Scott, Shirley L., ed. (1994). Field Guide to the Birds of North America (2nd ed.). The National Geographic Society. pp. 114–115, 137. ISBN 0-87044-692-4.
  5. ^ "Lesser Yellowlegs Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology". www.allaboutbirds.org. Retrieved 2020-09-27.
  6. ^ "Leser Yellowlegs (species profile)" at the Natural Lizard website (retrieved 5 April 2019)

External links[edit]