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Marshbirds and Shorebirds of North Dakota

Greater Yellowlegs

GREATER YELLOWLEGS Tringa melanoleuca L14" (36cm)

The greater yellowlegs nests across most of Canada and southern Alaska but can be observed in North Dakota during seasonal migrations. Though almost identical in appearance to the lesser yellowlegs, the greater yellowlegs is best distinguished by its larger size, longer bill, and characteristic voice. During migration, it can be observed on mud flats and in shallow sloughs searching for food. This sandpiper does not probe with its bill but rather pecks at the water to pick up prey such as minnows, snails, and aquatic insects. The best areas to look for the greater yellowlegs in North Dakota are Long Lake NWR, Upper Souris NWR, Des Lacs NWR, and shallow wetlands located on the Missouri Coteau.

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