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I saw these birds yesterday at DeKorte park in Northern New Jersey. Is there any way to definitively identify them as either lesser or greater yellowlegs? In the last picture, the bird on the left seems to lack the spotting of a yellow legs so I don't know what that bird is.. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

1-5 Greater

6 Looks like a Ruff! I believe there Greater's aswell

1 might be a lesser, bill seems pretty short, also the left bird on 6

Edited by Connor Cochrane
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That is exciting, thank you all! How come I don't see a Ruff on the Cornell All About Birds site? Is this a bird not common in North America?

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20 minutes ago, sbruenjes said:

That is exciting, thank you all! How come I don't see a Ruff on the Cornell All About Birds site? Is this a bird not common in North America?

Ruff is a Eurasian sandpiper. It strays to North America fairly often, maybe 30 to the US in a year, but still a very cool and good bird to see. 

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Thank you! I'm still trying to see if I can find a way to differentiate the greater from the lesser.  In my judgement, on pic 5, the bills seem longer and the flecking seems to extend farther down the breast. They also seem a little stockier to me which seems most likely to be greater. I thought the most likely to be lesser was number 1 for the opposite reasons. I know angles and distance make this difficult though...

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Here are my thoughts on the yellowlegs:

  1. Lesser
  2. Greater
  3. Greater
  4. Lesser
  5. Greater
  6. Lesser
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