Short-billed Dowitcher

General description.

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.

Female appearance.

The female Short-billed Dowitcher has a longer bill than the male.

Juvenile appearance.

Juvenal plumage consists of buffy chest and flanks and less spotting and barring than breeding adults. Back feathers dark.

Breeding habits.

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.

Nesting habits.

The Short-billed Dowitcher builds a nest in the grass, lined with moss, in which she lays 4 olive eggs, spotted with brown.

Similar birds:

Long-billed Dowitcher Photo Long-billed Dowitcher
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