Long-billed DowitcherLimnodromus scolopaceus

adult, nonbreeding
Steve Mlodinow/VIREO
immature (1st year)
Arthur Morris/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Kevin Smith/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
adult, breeding
Brian E. Small/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Richard Crossley/VIREO
Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Dowitcher

Family

Description

12" (30 cm). A snipe-like, long-billed shorebird with white lower back and rump, black and white checkered tail, dark bill, green legs. Summer adults have reddish underparts (including belly), with barring on breast, sides, and flanks, and reddish edges on feathers of upperparts. Winter birds gray overall, with pale eyebrow and white lower back and rump. See Short-billed Dowitcher.

Voice

A high sharp keek, quite unlike call of Short-billed Dowitcher.

Listen

calls & song #2
calls & song #1
various calls
flyover of small flock

Habitat

Breeds in muskeg; found on mudflats, marshy pools, and margins of freshwater ponds during migration and in winter.

Range

Breeds in western Alaska and extreme northwestern Mackenzie. Winters mainly along coasts from Washington and Virginia southward.

Discussion

Dowitchers are most often seen during migration. This species favors freshwater habitats, while the Short-billed Dowitcher is more partial to salt water. The main fall migration of Long-bills takes place in September and October, when most of the Short-bills have already departed.

Nesting

4 olive eggs, spotted with brown, in a grass and moss-lined nest on the ground.

Similar Species

adult, breeding

Stilt Sandpiper

8 1/2" (22 cm). A starling-sized sandpiper with long greenish legs and long bill, slightly down-curved at tip. Wings lack stripe. Breeding adult has chestnut head stripes and barring below.

adult, breeding, Atlantic

Short-billed Dowitcher

12" (30 cm). A snipe-like, long-billed shorebird with white lower back and rump, black-and-white checkered tail, dark bill, green legs.

adult, breeding

Marbled Godwit

18" (46 cm). A crow-sized shorebird, dark and mottled above, cinnamon-buff below, with cinnamon wing linings and long, pinkish, upturned bill.

adult male, breeding

Hudsonian Godwit

15" (38 cm). A large slender shorebird with a long, slightly upturned bill. Breeding adult has barred chestnut underparts, mottled brown upperparts. Fall birds grayish above, whitish below.

adult male, breeding

Bar-tailed Godwit

15-18" (38-46 cm). A large slender shorebird with a long, slightly upturned bill. Breeding adult has barred chestnut underparts, mottled brown upperparts. Fall birds grayish above, whitish below.

Vireo

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