Thursday, December 12, 2019

Greater Yellowlegs

Greater Yellowlegs breed across Alaska and central Canada, migrate across most of the United States, and winter along our shores south to northern South America. This bird swam past Erika abd me, as we walked along the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge on 9 December 2019. Aside from phalaropes, swimming sandpipers do not come readily to mind. But I have seen stressed shorebirds swim and even dive to escape predators. This bird appeared to be staying in deeper water, thereby avoiding getting too close to us. Swimming Greater Yellowlegs are well documented in the literature, Elphick and Tibbitts (1998) write that these birds “will feed in water up to belly or while swimming.”

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