SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER

SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER (Limnodromus griseus) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Short-billed dowitcher is a shorebird with a fairly long bill in spite of its name, that is about twice as long as its head. The breeding plumage is mottled brown on top with reddish tones for the under parts. The bill is black and the legs yellowish. The winter plumage is mainly grey. Sexes are similar. It is almost 30 cm long (12 in.).
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Limnodromus-griseus
NAME: The English name is from Iroquois and the Latin name refers to racing in a marsh, with the adjective ‘griseus’ meaning ‘grey’.
HABITAT: Mudflats, wetlands, grasslands.
DIET: Invertebrates. This bird feeds by inserting its bill vertically in the ground probing for its prey, in sewing machine-like fashion.
NESTING: Cup-shaped structure in a well-sheltered area. The nest is made of plant material and lined with feathers. Four green eggs are laid. Chicks are on their own right from birth.
DISTRIBUTION: The short-billed dowitcher breeds in muskegs of the boreal forest. Its wintering range includes coastal habitats from the southern USA down to the northern part of South America. Some individuals will spend the winter on Pacific Islands such as Hawaii.
CONSERVATION: Not much is known about the population trends of this species, but it is still considered as of ‘least concern’.
NOTES: Some individuals can be observed at the James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge on Oahu.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Long-billed Dowitcher: The short-billed dowitcher is very similar to the Long-billed Dowitcher. The two species can be differentiated by their call, not by the bill length in spite of their names. This is because there is overlap between the species in terms of bill length.
REFERENCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short-billed_dowitcher
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Short-billed_Dowitcher/id
https://identify.whatbird.com/obj/250/overview/Short-billed_Dowitcher.aspx
http://www.birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/short-billed_dowitcher

Short-billed Dowitcher in breeding plumage - Sunset Beach, NC - Apr. 2008 - photo by Dick Daniels
Short-billed Dowitcher in breeding plumage – Sunset Beach, NC – Apr. 2008 – photo by Dick Daniels
Short-billed Dowitcher - Oct. 2007 - photo by 'Mike' Michael L Baird
Short-billed Dowitcher – Oct. 2007 – photo by ‘Mike’ Michael L Baird

BACK TO THE TOP