Posted by Tony Leukering (188.8.131.52) on December 13, 2000 at 20:57:47:
My first impression of the yellowlegs was that of a Greater. However, after reading others' comments, I looked at it more closely.
My impression was based on a flatter head and longer bill than is typical of Lesser. However, I believe that the head shape is caused by all the feathers being depressed -- this could also change the apparent head depth:bill length. So, I looked at other features.
I noted that the primaries project well beyond the longest tertial, which only reaches about halfway down the tail. Since the bird is in fresh Juvenal plumage, this projection is not an artifact caused by molting terts. Greaters have much longer terts, the longest of which nearly reaches the tail tip. Or, at least that's what I remember from studying the beasts a while back. But, I haven't seen a Tringa in almost two months and I've been wrong (dead wrong) before!
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