This week’s photo, taken August 1, 2013 at Eide Road, near Stanwood, WA, features a LESSER YELLOWLEGS grabbing a snack in a shallow pond.

Despite its name, the LESSER YELLOWLEGS is a large sandpiper, although not as large as the Greater Yellowlegs. The Lesser has a straight bill; the Greater’s bill is longer and sometimes upcurved. (I hope you are absorbing all of this information, because someday I may quiz you).

Group bird names can be quite strange. A gathering of crows is a “Murder of Crows.” A group of lapwings is a “deceit.” When I was researching this week’s photo bird, I read that a group of yellowlegs is known as an “incontinence.” Immediately, I wondered if that’s actually true, and whether or not it’s true, I questioned why the heck someone would even consider such an odd designation for a group of birds. Then I remembered the color of the bird’s legs, and that’s when I decided nothing else needs to be said about this.


About Joe Sweeney

I photograph birds to share the beauty and wonder I find in nature.
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6 Responses to Incontinence

  1. kitty robyn says:

    You are “on form” with this post. Love the smiles you send. Kitty Robyn

  2. Gary Grantham says:

    Joe, I never thought you would resort to “bathroom bird humor”. 🙂

  3. says:

    very funny!

  4. Mary Friestedt says:

    Cute, Joe, very cute. Mary

    Sent from my iPhone

  5. Shepard Krech III says:

    Joe I had no idea abt an incontinence of yellowlegs! The angle of bill and head is hard but upon seeing this bird I thought: lesser yellowlegs. Although not unimpotrant, I think less of bill curve and more of the ratio of gape/bill base to back of head compared to gape/bill base to bill tip. If it is 1:1 it is lesser. If 1:1.5 (longer bill) it is greater. There are other features including call but short of hearing latter, I go first to that ratio. Just saw manx shearwater on boat trip to see old friends at Cape Ann (Mass). hope you thrive, all best from us both,/sk


  6. Connie Saunders says:

    Joe — got a good chuckle from this one! Last week, Bernie and I had a great view of an osprey high in a tree at Seney National Wildlife Refuge southeast of Munising, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula. It was eating, I assume, the insides of the pine cones. The Refuge was developed in the 1930’s as one of the Civilian Conservation Corps projects. Largest refuge east of the Mississippi.

    Connie Saunders

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