Lesser Yellowlegs: Large sandpiper with gray and black mottled upperparts, white underparts and streaked upper breast and sides. Bill is straight and uniformly dark gray. White lower rump and dark-barred tail are visible in flight. Legs are long and yellow. Swift direct flight with rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Lesser Yellowlegs: Breeds from western Alaska and Canada east to western Quebec. Spends winters on coasts from southern California and Virginia southward, and along the Gulf coast. Preferred habitats include coastal mudflats, pans and lagoons, inland lakes, ponds, rivers, sewage works, and flooded grasslands.
While the Lesser Yellowlegs is similar in appearance to the Greater Yellowlegs, they are not closely related.
Both the male and female provide parental care to the young, but the female tends to leave the breeding area before the chicks can fly, thus leaving the male to defend the young until fledging.
When foraging, these birds are likely to scythe their bills back and forth in the water stirring up prey.
A group of yellowlegs are collectively known as an "incontinence" of yellowlegs.
The Lesser Yellowlegs has a large range, estimated globally at 4,600,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas and surrounding island nations and introduced to Asia, Europe and Africa, this bird prefers shrubland, grassland, wetland, and marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 300,000 to 800,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Lesser Yellowlegs is Least Concern.