Documentation of Lesser Yellowlegs

Observer Information

Reporter:  Kat Bradley Bennett   
Other Observers:  none;

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Lesser Yellowlegs
First Date/Time:  4/17/2013
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  2 minutes
County:  Boulder
Specific Location:  East of Blue Mountain Elementary School
1260 Mountain Dr Longmont, CO 80503

Number:  2
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Ditch running through open space, former ag land (cattle). Ditch corridor contains cattails, grasses, Russian Olive, and willows.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Eagle Optics 8X32 Ranger binoculars
Distance:  100
Light:  Overcast

Description of the Bird

Long yellow legs. Head and neck had grayish streaking that continued down the sides a bit, belly white. Back mottled. Beak pointed, dark, about 3 inches or so long, darker at the tip than the base. When the birds flew, there was a flash of white from the tail.
Behaviors: The birds were feeding in a ditch along the east side of Blue Mountain Elementary School on 4/17 and 4/18/13 at about 8 AM. When they flushed, they flew eastward together, giving a two-note TOO-TOO alarm call.

Unfortunately, I spooked these two before I could get my camera ready. I will look for them tomorrow more stealthily!
Call: Two-note alarm in flight: TOO-TOO, TOO-TOO
Plumage: Adult

Similar Species Discussion

Greater Yellowlegs: Too large and vocalization all wrong
Spotted Sandpiper: Too large for Spotted, belly too white, beak too dark, vocalization all wrong.

Resources Used

Peterson Guide to Western Birds
Audubon Bird app for Droid
Cornell Lab of Ornithology's All About Birds website
Golden Guide to Western Birds

Previous Experience

I am very familiar with this species. I lived along the coastline of Rhode Island for six years, where both Lesser and Greaters are common in salt marshes. I have also occasionally seen the Lesser here in Boulder County at various locations, most notably, the lake called Little Gaynor, south of Longmont.



Additional Information

Time: 8 AM
Elevation: 1525
Other Dates: 4/18/13
Nearest Town: Longmont
Independent Observers:

Materials Available

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Date Documentation Submitted

4/18/2013 1:15:00 PM