Call recorded in Wise County, Texas, in August 2000

Video Clip

Taped in Wise County near Denton Creek in January 2001

FIELD IDENTIFICATION: The Greater Yellowlegs is a spring and fall migrant through Wise County, and is reported occasionally in the winter.  In breeding plumage, it has a gray back with white speckles, barred flanks, and streaked head and neck.   Non-breeding plumage is slightly paler, there are no bars on flanks, and the head and neck are less streaked.  The legs are bright yellow, and the beak is usually, but not always slightly upturned.

The Lesser Yellowlegs is very similar, and the size difference between them is not useful unless both species are side by side.  Instead, the relative length of the beak is helpful.  The Greater Yellowlegs' beak usually is about one and a half times the length from the base of the beak to the back of the head, whereas the Lesser's is usually only a little bit longer.  In breeding plumage the Greater Yellowlegs is also said to have more barring on the flanks.

by Claire Curry

Photo by Claire Curry in January 2004 on the LBJ National Grasslands in Wise County, Texas

Field sketch by Claire Curry in March 2001 in Wise County, Texas