Bird #179 — Greater Yellowlegs

tringa (a white-rumped water bird) melanoleuca (from melas, black, and leukos, white)

Thursday, August 14, 1980 — 1:00 pm

Inverness, Illinois — side road off Palatine Road

This was not one of my most romantic bird sightings.  A new housing development was being built on Palatine Road about a mile east of Crabtree.  A few houses were up, but most of the area was covered by mud and criss-crossed by roads.  Muddly puddles were everywhere, and in one of the larger ones, I spotted several shorebirds.

The four yellowlegs were quite a distance away, and I couldn’t get a very good look.  I tried to get nearer, but they flushed every time I got close.  Finally, I got into a position from which I could see them well.  Three were quite a bit larger than the fourth one.  They took off again and flew past me.  The three Greater Yellowlegs passed on one side giving their three and four-noted call.  The Lesser passed on the other side giving its two-noted call.

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