Photo 218276, (c) greglasley, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Greg Lasley

Attribution © greglasley
Cc by nc small some rights reserved
Uploaded by greglasley greglasley
Source iNaturalist
Associated observations

Photos / Sounds



Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus




September 9, 1995


Short-billed Dowitcher
Rockport, Texas
9 Sep 1995

Unless you are a true student of shorebirds, I realize that separating Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers from photos is a challenge at best. This is complicated by the fact that the terms "long-billed" or short-billed" mean very little. In general, female shorebirds have longer bills than males. Thus, a female Short-billed Dowitcher may have a bill that is longer than a male Long-billed Dowitcher. Confused yet? I'm just getting started. There are three races of Short-billed Dowitchers, all of which may turn up in much of the U.S., including Texas. All three races have subtle plumage differences. Generally, at least on the Gulf coast, Short-billed Dowitchers turn up in salt water while Long-billeds prefer fresh water, but this is not a hard and fast rule. The call notes of the two species are different and may be recognized with practice. I will post several records of Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers here for the record, but I understand if folks do not feel they can "agree" with the sighting. All these records were confirmed by vocal and other reliable field characters.