|Conservation status||CONSERVATION. Overall numbers appear to be fairly stable.|
|Habitat||Marshes, mudflats, shores, ponds; in summer, open boreal woods. Occurs widely in migration, including coastal estuaries, salt and fresh marshes, edges of lakes and ponds; typically more common on freshwater habitats. Often in same places as Greater Yellowlegs, but may be less frequent on tidal flats. Breeds in large clearings, such as burned areas, near ponds in northern forest.|
Typically forages in very shallow water, picking at items on or just below water's surface. Sometimes swings its head back and forth with the tip of the bill in the water.
4, sometimes 3. Buff to yellowish or gray, blotched with brown. Incubation is probably by both parents, roughly 22-23 days. Young: Downy young are able to leave nest soon after hatching; are tended by both parents, but feed themselves. Age at first flight probably about 18-20 days.
Downy young are able to leave nest soon after hatching; are tended by both parents, but feed themselves. Age at first flight probably about 18-20 days.
Insects, small fish, crustaceans. Eats many aquatic insects, including beetles, water boatmen, dragonfly nymphs, crane fly larvae, and others; also terrestrial insects. Also feeds on crustaceans, snails, worms, small fish. Insects make up most of diet in summer.
Nesting behavior not well known. On the breeding territory, male performs a rising and falling display flight, while giving a ringing song that can be heard from some distance. Adults may perch on top of dead trees and call, especially when humans intrude on territory. Nest site is on ground in open, typically in dry site and sometimes far from water; may be placed close to log, burned stump, brushpile. Nest is a shallow depression, sparsely lined with leaves, grass.
Text © Kenn Kaufman, adapted from
Lives of North American Birds
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Tends to migrate a little later in spring and earlier in fall than the Greater Yellowlegs.
- All Seasons - Common
- All Seasons - Uncommon
- Breeding - Common
- Breeding - Uncommon
- Winter - Common
- Winter - Uncommon
- Migration - Common
- Migration - Uncommon
See a fully interactive migration map for this species on the Bird Migration Explorer.Learn more
Songs and CallsA flat tu-tu, less musical than call of Greater Yellowlegs.
Learn more about this sound collection.