yellowlegs

yellowlegs
/yel"oh legz'/, n. (used with a sing. v.)
either of two American shorebirds having yellow legs, Tringa melanoleuca (greater yellowlegs) or T. flavipes (lesser yellowlegs).
[1765-75, Amer.; YELLOW + LEGS]

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Either of two species (genus Tringa, family Scolopacidae) of shorebirds.

They have trim, gray-brown and white streaked bodies; long bills; and long, bright yellow legs. Both species breed in Canada and winter in South America and eat small fish and other aquatic creatures. The lesser yellowlegs (T. flavipes), about 10 in. (25 cm) long, appears in sizable flocks on mudflats during migration; it has a flat call of one or two notes. Less common is the greater yellowlegs (T. melanoleuca), which is about 14 in. (35 cm) long and has a longer, stouter, slightly upturned bill; its call is a clear three-note whistle.

Lesser yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes)

Mary M. Tremaine
Root Resources

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bird
 either of two species of American shorebirds with trim, gray-brown and white streaked bodies, long bills, and long, bright yellow legs. They belong to the genus Tringa of the family Scolopacidae; this family also includes the curlews, turnstones, sandpipers, and snipes.

      The lesser yellowlegs (T. flavipes), about 25 cm (10 inches) long, appears in sizable flocks on mud flats during migration between its breeding grounds across Canada and Alaska and its wintering ground from the Gulf of Mexico to southern Chile and Argentina. The greater yellowlegs (T. melanoleuca), about 35 cm (14 inches) long, with a proportionately longer and stouter (and slightly upturned) bill, has similar breeding and wintering ranges but is everywhere less common and more wary than the lesser yellowlegs. Individuals of the two species may be nearly the same size but are easily distinguished by voice: usually the greater yellowlegs gives a clear three-note whistle; the lesser, a flat, light call of one or two notes. Both species feed on small fish and other aquatic creatures (e.g., insects, crabs, snails, and tadpoles).

      During the autumn migration, the lesser yellowlegs, and sometimes the greater, occasionally stray to western Europe, where they might be confused with other Tringa species, such as the greenshank, the redshank, and the wood sandpiper.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • yellowlegs — ☆ yellowlegs [yel′ō legz΄] n. pl. yellowlegs either of two large, gray and white sandpipers, the greater yellowlegs ( Tringa melanoleuca) or the lesser yellowlegs ( T. flavipes), having long, yellow legs, found in North and South America …   English World dictionary

  • Yellowlegs — may refer to the name of a bird in the Tringa genus:* Greater Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes * Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa malanoleuca …   Wikipedia

  • Yellowlegs — Yel low*legs , n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of long legged sandpipers of the genus {Totanus}, in which the legs are bright yellow; called also {stone snipe}, {tattler}, {telltale}, {yellowshanks}; and {yellowshins}. See {Tattler}, 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • yellowlegs — Tattler Tat tler, n. 1. One who tattles; an idle talker; one who tells tales. Jer. Taylor. [1913 Webster] 2. (Zo[ o]l.) Any one of several species of large, long legged sandpipers belonging to the genus {Totanus}. [1913 Webster] Note: The common… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • yellowlegs — noun plural but singular or plural in construction Date: circa 1772 either of two American shorebirds of the sandpiper family with yellow legs: a. greater yellowlegs b. lesser yellowlegs …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • yellowlegs — yel•low•legs [[t]ˈyɛl oʊˌlɛgz[/t]] n. (used with a sing. v.) orn either of two large New World sandpipers having yellow legs, Tringa melanoleuca (greater yellowlegs) or T. flavipes(lesser yellowlegs). • Etymology: 1765–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • yellowlegs — noun either of two North American shorebird with yellow legs • Hypernyms: ↑sandpiper • Hyponyms: ↑greater yellowlegs, ↑Tringa melanoleuca, ↑lesser yellowlegs, ↑Tringa flavipes • Member Holonyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • yellowlegs — noun Either of two birds in the Tringa family, with yellow legs …   Wiktionary

  • yellowlegs — noun (plural same) a migratory sandpiper that resembles the greenshank but has yellowish legs, breeding in northern Canada. [Genus Tringa: two species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • Greater Yellowlegs — Taxobox name = Greater Yellowlegs status = LC status system = iucn3.1 status ref = IUCN2007|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=49056|title=Tringa melanoleuca|downloaded=30 July 2007 Database entry includes justification for why this… …   Wikipedia

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