Friday, April 25, 2014

Lesser or Greater Yellowlegs

The pond at the local park I visit regularly is primarily to showcase an old grist mill and provide nature education.  It serves as a native wildlife refuge and there is remarkably varied wildlife either visiting or that call the park and the area surrounding the park home.

Repairs on the mill have required that the pond be dropped below the top of the dam which has resulted in all but the deepest parts of the pond to be drained.  The resulting mud flats have brought in birds not normally seen or rarely seen.  It has become a treasure for shore type birds that wade in shallow water and search the mud flats for hidden treasures.

Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, Killdeer and today the addition of either a Lesser or Greater Yellowlegs.

I have flipped-flopped back and forth between the Lesser and the Greater trying to compare their field marks.  They seem to contradict each other but I guess if I had to make a guess I would say Lesser.

Some of the things that I have been looking at is the bill length compared to the head size, the shape of the bill at the end, the banding markings and the shape of the bill in general.  There is so little difference between the two that unless you can make a comparison side by side, for an adult in breeding colors, they are very close.


G L Buzzell said...

Nice for you to be able to see some shore birds in your area, Paula. Hope none of the bad weather came your way today.

Paula said...

Lots of rain and wind but nothing too bad. We dodged the bullet mostly. Hope you didn't get anything bad where you live either. It looked like down your way got quite a bit of rain too.