After careful deliberation we identified this tall and lanky shorebird as a Greater Yellowleg. Greater Yellowlegs are almost identical to the Lesser Yellowleg. Their differences, however, can be spotted when looking closely. For example, the Greater Yellowleg has a longer bill that seems to curve upwards slightly. Their bills are often lighter near their heads giving a two-toned appearance. Another way to distinguish between the two is their wing length. When looking at their profile with wings folded, the Greater Yellowlegs wings only just reach the tip of their tail feathers. In contrast, the Lesser Yellowlegs wings reach out past their tail feathers when folded.
These slender birds travel great distances each year. Their breeding grounds can be found in muskegs, bogs and forests across Canada in the summer months and in winter they generally inhabit Mexico and South America. Greater Yellowlegs feed on small invertebrates both aquatic and terrestrial. They have a diverse diet, covering insects, seeds and berries to small fish, frogs and snails.
These birds are very cool to watch and a neat fact is that because of where they breed there is not much research on them. As it turns out, researchers are not too keen to sit around mosquito infested muskegs. But if you ever get the chance to watch the Greater Yellowleg strut along the shore grazing on small creatures, take it. They are super interesting and that is why they take the top spot this week in Pacific Landings Feathered Friend Fridays.
Pacific Landing is located on the shores of the Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary. It is one of seven Migratory Bird Sanctuaries across British Columbia.
Just like the Greater Yellowleg our residents at Pacific Landing are able to strut along the shoreline and through the 600 acres of hiking trails adjacent to our property. Core to our project is the lifestyle that is being created. Our goal is to provide you with the tools to live an active and engaged life here at Pacific Landing.
If you are interested in vibrant community living where over 150 bird species are your neighbors, Pacific Landing is now selling 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo’s! Register with us now to learn more about our unique project.
Click here to see last Friday’s Feathered Friend.