How to identify the Lesser Yellowlegs

Hint: If you can resist saying “Awwww,” it’s not him…

It’s hard enough to resist Lester the Lesser Yellowlegs when he’s scampering, but when he takes flight, toss in the towel, tough customer.

Seriously, I took to the Audubon guide when I first spotted Lester, and his yellow legs were almost enough to nail him. But how do you tell the Greater from the Lesser?

Here the plot thickens. “At first glance,” says the Audubon website, “the two species of bird appear identical, as if they were put on earth only to confuse birdwatchers.”

But at second glance? Quoth Audubon, “they turn out to have different personalities.”

And there you have it. The Greater may be cute, but according to the authorities, the Lesser is irresistibly…


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