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Greater Yellowlegs | by Neva Swensen
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Greater Yellowlegs

The Greater Yellowlegs, Tringa melanoleuca, is a large North American shorebird, similar in appearance to the smaller Lesser Yellowlegs. Its closest relative, however, is the Greenshank, which together with the Spotted Redshank form a close-knit group. Among them, these three species show all the basic leg and foot colors found in the shanks, demonstrating that this character is paraphyletic (Pereira & Baker, 2005). They are also the largest shanks apart from the Willet, which is altogether more robustly built. The Greater Yellowlegs and the Greenshank share a coarse, dark, and fairly crisp breast pattern as well as much black on the shoulders and back in breeding plumage.

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Taken on November 21, 2011