LEG LENGTH AND FEEDING BEHAVIOUR
Just as waders’ bills are of different lengths and shapes according to their preferential feeding method, so their legs are also of different lengths. These can be useful ID pointers. For instance, the somewhat similar Black-tailed and Bar-tailed Godwits have strikingly different leg lengths. Black-tailed Godwits (below; lower) are lanky, long-legged birds, while in comparison, Bar-tailed Godwits (below; upper) look short-legged to the point of dumpiness. Similarly, the similar Dunlin and Curlew Sandpiper have different leg lengths, with the longer legs of the latter allowing them to wade belly-deep in deeper water than their usually more marginal feeding cousins.