Thursday, July 29, 2010

Greater Yellowlegs

A few days ago I mentioned that I took a number of photos of Sandpipers, and today I'm going to talk about that. The first thing to note about Sandpipers, in this case Greater Yellowlegs, is that they all behave a little differently. I found that Dowitchers (short and long billed) tend to stay in groups, normally 15-20 birds or more, while the Greater Yellowlegs often go off on their own. You will see them in small family units of 4-6, but not in groups larger than that very often. Also, while the Dowitchers take off at the first sign of anything bigger than them, the Greater Yellowlegs will stick around, even when you are in close proximity, if you prove to be nonthreatening.

Greater Yellowlegs, Always Eating

The second thing that you will notice about most Sandpipers is that they spend a large portion of their time looking for food. I was able to watch one Greater Yellowlegs for the better part of an hour and it was feeding the enter time.

Greater Yellowlegs, Walking In Circles

The third thing that you notice after observing Greater Yellowlegs is that they tend to walk around in a large circular pattern when feeding. My guess based on this is that the bird walk in that pattern, in order to fool the bugs they feed on, into thinking that danger has passed and that it is okay to start moving about again. The Greater Yellowlegs then returns to catch the bugs.

Greater Yellowlegs: Tasty Looking Dragonfly!