Additional identification includes a white lower back and rump and whitish belly. Variable spotting on breast, sides and upperparts, that in summer, appear reddish. A medium to large snipe-like shorebird, the Short-billed Dowitcher uses a "sewing-machine" method of foraging across the mud flats with its long bill, which is short only in comparison to the Long-billed Dowitcher's. In winter this bird is overall gray.
The female Short-billed Dowitcher has a longer bill than the male.
Juvenal plumage consists of buffy chest and flanks and less spotting and barring than breeding adults. Back feathers dark.
The Short-billed Dowitcher breeds in the tundra of southern Alaska, eastward through central Canada to Quebec.
Calls or song.
The Short-billed calls a soft, "tu-tu-tu".
Population and distribution.
These birds of the mudflats winter along both coasts from Virginia and California southward. They occur in large flocks both in flight and when feeding.
The Short-billed Dowitcher builds a nest in the grass, lined with moss, in which she lays 4 olive eggs, spotted with brown.