/tat"leuhr/, n.1. a person who tattles; telltale.2. either of two shorebirds of the genus Heteroscelus, having a loud, whistling cry.3. any of various related shorebirds having shrill cries, as the yellowlegs.4. a small bass, Serranus phoebe, of the West Indies and Florida.[1540-50; TATTLE + -ER1]
* * *▪ birdany shorebird that is easily alarmed and calls loudly when it senses danger. Broadly, tattlers are birds of the subfamily Tringinae of the family Scolopacidae. Examples are the redshank, greenshank, willet, and yellowlegs. More narrowly, the name is given to the wandering tattler (Heteroscelus incanus) and the Polynesian, or gray-rumped, tattler (H. brevipes). Both closely resemble the yellowlegs but are short-legged and have barred underparts in summer. The wandering tattler nests on gravel bars in Alaskan rivers and winters from Mexico to western Pacific islands. The slightly smaller Polynesian tattler does not nest on the ground but, instead, often uses the abandoned nests of songbirds. It winters in the Philippines, in Malaysia, and in Australia.
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