There are a number of reasons why I decided to take on this project. My first reason has to do with my interest in birds. This began shortly after moving to Victoria ten and a half years ago. With our house backing onto a wooded area, the chirping of birds is a familiar sound all year long. I often glance out the window to see birds of all forms in the yard throughout the day. Frequently I will pull out the Birds of Victoria or Birds of North America reference guides we have on hand. Unfortunately, the drawings in the first aren’t overly helpful for identification and the number of entries in the second is overwhelming. My second reason has to do with a photography course I took a number of years ago. Since that time I have been trying to think of a practical reason to buy a new camera. Taking pictures of birds requires a powerful zoom lens which my previous point-and-shoot camera could not accommodate. Perfect! My final reason was my desire to take on a new project to welcome in 2011. Hence, bird of the day was born.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lesser Yellowlegs

Tringa flavipes

  • Medium sandpiper
  • Long, yellow legs
  • Long, straight, dark bill
  • Mottled brownish-black and white upperparts
  • White rump and underparts
  • Dark barring on tail, visible in flight  
Listen to its call.

Trying to distinguish between Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs has proven difficult for me.  I've been told that the bill is the key.  The length of the bill of the Lesser variety is about the size of its head width, while the bill of the Greater variety is noticeably longer.  However, because the angle of its head affects my perception, I still struggle to make this determination. The call, as usual, is also a key factor.  So, believe it or not, I actually paid attention to it this time.  The call of this bird was a short and fairly quiet tew-tew. Eureka!  I think I've finally found a Lesser Yellowlegs (or is it just wishful thinking on my part?).

Learn more about the Lesser Yellowlegs.

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