I’m back with more photos from my recent outing to the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge in Oklahoma. In my last post, I shared images of the elusive Wilson’s Snipe that I was fortunate to spot hiding among the weeds. Today, I want to focus on another wading bird species I captured that day – the striking Greater Yellowlegs.

A Greater Yellowleg On The Hunt For Food

A Greater Yellowleg On The Hunt For Food

As mentioned in my last blog post, I first spotted several Greater Yellowlegs wading in the marshy waters. As I slowly rolled down my window to photograph them from inside my truck, a passing car temporarily frightened the Yellowlegs away.

With the Yellowlegs taking flight, I then noticed a few Wilson’s Snipes hiding among the reeds nearby. I captured some nice images of these cryptically patterned shorebirds before the Yellowlegs returned shortly after (A Close Encounter with Well-Hidden Wilson’s Snipes).

A Greater Yellowleg Standing in Water Hunting For Food

A Greater Yellowleg Standing in Water Hunting For Food

Some interesting facts about the Greater Yellowlegs:

1. They are nicknamed “marshpipers” for their preference of wading in deeper water compared to other sandpipers.

2. They have a larger and heftier build than their lookalike cousin, the Lesser Yellowlegs.

3. We see them mostly during migration as they travel between their breeding grounds in Canada and winter spots across the southern U.S.

4. Their bright yellow legs, robust bill, and measured gait give them a refined presence whether solo or in small flocks.

5. They tend to be wary and often give alarm calls when threats are near.

6. Compared to Lesser Yellowlegs, they favor more open wetlands and larger mudflats.

7. Their diet includes insects, insect larvae, small fish, crustaceans, snails, and other aquatic creatures.

I always enjoy observing and photographing these striking yet subtle waders. Their elegant forms and behavior make them a delight to watch as they seamlessly blend into their surroundings. I feel fortunate to have captured these images of the Greater Yellowlegs in a serene, natural setting without disturbing them. Until next time, happy birding!

Image Information (First Image):

  • Date: 11/4/23
  • Time: 10:56 AM
  • Camera: Canon EOS R7
  • Lens: EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
  • ISO: 640
  • Aperture: 7.1
  • Shutter: 1/800
  • Exp. Comp.: 0
  • Lens (mm): 400
  • Program Mode: Manual