Either of two species (genus Tringa, family Scolopacidae) of shorebirds. They have trim, gray-brown and white streaked bodies; long bills; and long, bright yellow legs. Both species breed in Canada and winter in South America and eat small fish and other aquatic creatures. The lesser yellowlegs (T. flavipes), about 10 in. (25 cm) long, appears in sizable flocks on mudflats during migration; it has a flat call of one or two notes. Less common is the greater yellowlegs (T. melanoleuca), which is about 14 in. (35 cm) long and has a longer, stouter, slightly upturned bill; its call is a clear three-note whistle.
Lesser yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)—Mary M. Tremaine/Root Resources
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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