Arizona Naturalist >>> Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Riparian and Water Birds >>> Long-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher

Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitchers, Limnodromus scolopaceus, photo © by Michael Plagens

These Long-billed Dowitchers are foraging for mostly larvae of insects in the muddy bottom of this pond at the Gilbert Riparian Preserve, Gilbert, Arizona, 23 Aug. 2009.

Recognizing the differences between the many kinds of shorebirds takes a lot of patient observation with good optics. Dowitchers are medium-sized and have long, stout bills that they use to probe deep into the mud. During the summer breeding months they use mud flats in the Arctic and northern Canada. By late July they are already moving south passing through Arizona ... and many winter here. Look for them in shallow water or on mud flats. It takes an experienced bird watcher to separate these from Short-billed Dowitchers; the bills are virtually the same. Short-billed Dowitchers prefer salt marshes along the ocean edges and are rare in Arizona.

Migratory - Most Abundant Autumn thru Spring

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009