Bird Database

Lesser Yellowlegs

(Tringa flavipes)

State of the Birds
At a Glance



Long distance


Strongly Decreasing


Habitat loss and fragmentation, Climate change, Hunting, Pesticides

Conservation Actions

Protect coastal habitats, Minimize disturbanceto shorebrids

Lesser Yellowlegs

(Tringa flavipes)

We only see yellowlegs in New Hampshire during migration, when they are most common in coastal salt marshes with much lower numbers inland in shallow wetlands and flooded fields. They spend the winter from the southern United States to southern South America, usually near coastlines or areas with extensive wetlands. It is during this period that yellowlegs have historically faced their greatest threats. Habitat loss is an issue for all shorebirds, but since yellowlegs are dispersed migrants it likely affects them less than other shorebirds. Instead, hunting is thought to have had a significant impact on populations during the market hunting era of the late 1800s, with populations rebounding as it was banned. Hunting of these species, particularly the Lesser Yellowlegs, is still a problem in parts of the Caribbean and South America. The practice is largely not regulated, resulting in thousands of birds being taken each fall. New conservation initiatives are hoping to introduce more regulation in shorebird hunting in these regions with the goal of helping stabilize current population declines.

Seasonal Abundance

Relative abundance based on eBird data. Numbers indicate likelihood of finding this species in suitable habitat at a given time of year, not actual numbers encountered.

Lesser Yellowlegs
Range Map

Information for the species profiles on this website was compiled from a combination of the sources listed below.

  • The Birds of New Hampshire. By Allan R. Keith and Robert B. Fox. 2013. Memoirs of the Nuttall Ornithological club No. 19.

  • Atlas of the Breeding Birds of New Hampshire. Carol R. Foss, ed. 1994. Arcadia Publishing Company and Audubon Society of New Hampshire

  • Birds of the World. Various authors and dates. Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

  • Data from the Breeding Bird Survey

  • Data from the Christmas Bird Count