Vol 2 #2 – The Yellow Legs

Lesser Yellow Legs for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography - From col. F. M. Woodruff.

Lesser Yellow Legs for Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – From col. F. M. Woodruff.



ELLOW LEGS, or Lesser Tell tale sometimes called Yellow-leg Snipe, and Little Cucu, inhabits the whole of North America, nesting in the cold temperate and subarctic districts of the northern continent, migrating south in winter to Argentine and Chili. It is much rarer in the western than eastern province of North America, and is only accidental in Europe. It is one of the wading birds, its food consisting of larvae of insects, small shell fish and the like.

The nest of the Lesser Yellow Shanks, which it is sometimes called, is a mere depression in the ground, without any lining. Sometimes, however, it is placed at the foot of a bush, with a scanty lining of withered leaves. Four eggs of light drab, buffy or cream color, sometimes of light brown, are laid, and the breast of the female is found to be bare of feathers when engaged in rearing the young. The Lesser Yellow legs breeds in central Ohio and Illinois, where it is a regular summer resident, arriving about the middle of April, the larger portion of flocks passing north early in May and returning about the first of September to remain until the last of October.

A nest of this species of Snipe was found situated in a slight depression at the base of a small hillock near the border of a prairie slough near Evanston, Illinois, and was made of grass stems and blades. The color of the eggs in this instance was a deep grayish white, three of which were marked with spots of dark brown, and the fourth egg with spots and well defined blotches of a considerably lighter shade of the same.

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) by Robert Scanlon

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) by Robert Scanlon

Lee’s Addition:

If you come across a bird’s nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. (Deuteronomy 22:6 ESV)

The Yellowlegs belong to the Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family. There are 96 species in the family. The Tringa genus that they are placed in also has Redshanks, Greenshanks, Sandpipers, Tattlers, and the Willet.

The Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) is a medium-sized shorebird similar in appearance to the larger Greater Yellowlegs. It is not closely related to this bird, however, but instead to the much larger and quite dissimilar Willet: merely the fine, clear and dense pattern of the neck shown in breeding plumage indicates these species’ actual relationships.

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 and south to South America.

This species is a regular vagrant to western Europe, and the odd bird has wintered in Great Britain.

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.

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) chicks ©WikiC

Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) chicks ©WikiC


Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited – Introduction

The above article is the first article in the monthly serial that was started in January 1897 “designed to promote Knowledge of Bird-Live.” These include Color Photography, as they call them, today they are drawings. There are at least three Volumes that have been digitized by Project Gutenberg.

To see the whole series of – Birds Illustrated by Color Photography – Revisited


(Information from Wikipedia and other internet sources)

Next Article – The Skylark

The Previous Article – The Red Breasted Merganser

ABC’s Of The Gospel


Scolopacidae – Sandpipers, Snipes Family

Lesser Yellowlegs – All About Birds

Greater Yellowlegs – All About Birds

Lesser YellowlegsWikipedia

Greater Yellowlegs – Wikipedia

Tringa – Wikipedia