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Types of Birds
The American Birding Association records a dozen different North American Tringa species.
Most people associate the genera with the two Yellowlegs species.
The Lesser Yellowlegs (Tringa flavipes) is a yellow legged shorebird that breeds in northern latitudes of Alaska and Canada.
They migrate to southern coastal areas of the United States for the winter, thereby also making a presence across much of the inland areas during migratory seasons.
Differentiating between the Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs in the field can be difficult, unless they are standing together. Generally vocal clues help with identification.
Lesser Yellowlegs tend to be the more quite species of the two.
The Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca), on the other hand, might be considered an entertainer of the shorebird world. When disturbed they create a racket with a series of "qew, qew, qew" or "dew, dew, dew" vocalizations.
They rank as one of North America's most common shorebirds, breeding across much of northern Canada, migrating through most of the United States, and wintering along southern shorelines from coast to coast.
Their diet consists of the insects, snails and other aquatic organisms found along the shoreline.
The video clip shows a Yellowlegs enjoying some morning sun on the edged of a pond.
Willets (Tringa semipalmata), medium sized, wide-ranging shorebirds, inhabit found along East and West Coast southern coastal areas.
Most breed in fresh water marshes and wetlands in Canada, the Upper Midwest and areas along the West Coast as far south as Central California.
Superficially they resemble Yellowlegs, with duller feathers and duller leg color. Black and white wing color makes them relatively easy to identify in flight.
© 2005-2011 Patricia A. Michaels