Thursday, May 14, 2009

Yellowlegs ID

Lesser (left) and greater (right) yellowlegs at the Tank Farm along Rt 7 near Newport, Ohio.

During our Washington County, Ohio Big Day, the Whipple Bird Club was fortunate enough to see BOTH species of yellowlegs. Not only that, but as we were discussing the finer points of telling greater yellowlegs from lesser yellowlegs, the birds obliged by standing next to each other in perfect profile for a few moments.

This really gave us a good look at the key field marks: the differences in bill length and size; body size; leg length; and plumage markings on the flanks (of the greater).

It might make birding less challenging, but wouldn't it be great if more birds cooperated like this? I'm talking to YOU sharpies & Coops, scaups, peeps, empids, chickadees, shrikes, ibises (ibi?), and most of the dang sparrows!

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At 10:44 AM, Blogger Patrick Belardo said...

What does one grow at a Tank Farm?

At 3:30 PM, Blogger hoperu said...

And warblers - my bird book has a whole section entitled "confusing fall warblers"!

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Bill of the Birds said...

My birding mentor Pat Murphy named that place the Tank Farm because it's a huge farm field with about 10 giant oil-gathering/storage tanks in it. She named it that in the early 70's and it's been called that ever since.

The muddy low areas are often good for shorebirds.

At 7:14 PM, Blogger nina at Nature Remains. said...

When our group in WV took a trip to the "city" and watched swallows near the river, they also obliged by sitting nicely, side by side on a wire. (facing the same direction, of course!)
Gotta love swallows!

At 9:17 PM, Blogger KatDoc said...

Tanks for the lesson!

While you are at it, you can get Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers to sit side by side, and Kestrels and Merlins, and nearly all of the gulls, and most especially the empids.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger Kathiesbirds said...

Bill, how much did you have to pay them to get them to do that for you?


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