The greater yellowlegs can be found in Chesapeake Bay marshes and mudflats in the spring and fall. (Bill Bouton/Flickr)
The greater yellowlegs is a slender shorebird with a long, upturned bill and distinctive yellow or orange legs.
Medium-sized, slender shorebird measures about 14 inches long
Long bill is slightly upturned, measures about one and a half times the length of head
Long legs are yellow to orange
Backs are brown in color and checkered with white. Neck and breast are white with brownish gray streaks. Belly and rump are white. Tail is white and crossed with thin black bars
Tidal wetlands, marshes and mudflats, both fresh and saltwater
Found in the Chesapeake Bay in spring and fall; uncommon in summer and winter
Breeds in band that stretches from southern Alaska and British Columbia in the west to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in the east
Winters along the ocean coasts of North America, from California south to Central America and from Virginia south to the Gulf of Mexico
Feeds during day and at night in shallows and mud flats, moving head in side-to-side or sweeping motion while seeking insect larvae, worms, snails, shrimp, small fish and frogs. Also probes aquatic vegetation to dislodge hidden fish
Swallows prey whole, headfirst
Strong, swift flight
Migrates in groups
Loud, clear call consists of three descending notes, a "whew-whew-whew" or "tew-tew-tew"
Call variations include alarm, breeding, take-off, landing and migratory calls, as well as conversational murmuring