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Help develop a Bird ID tool!

Long-billed Dowitcher


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A long-billed shorebird recognizable for both its distinctive profile and sewing machine-like feeding action, the Long-billed Dowitcher is most common west of the Mississippi.

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Bird Festivals


Typical Voice

Adult Description

  • Medium-sized shorebird.
  • Bill twice as long as head.
  • Moderately long, pale legs.

Immature Description

Juvenal plumage with brownish gray chest and flanks, less spotting and barring than breeding adults. Back feathers dark centered with broad buffy edges, giving a slightly scaly appearance. Tertials dark grayish with narrow rusty edges.

Range Map Help

Long-billed Dowitcher Range Map
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Field MarksHelp

  • Breeding Adult

    Long-billed Dowitcher

    Breeding Adult
    • © Raymond Lee, Beaver County, Alberta, Canada, May 2013
  • Breeding adult

    Long-billed Dowitcher

    Breeding adult
    • © Raymond Lee, Beaver County, Alberta, Canada, May 2013
  • Nonbreeding adult

    Long-billed Dowitcher

    Nonbreeding adult
    • © Ship rock, Ladner, British Columbia, Canada, October 2010
  • Nonbreeding adult

    Long-billed Dowitcher

    Nonbreeding adult
  • Juvenile

    Long-billed Dowitcher


Similar Species

  • Wilson's Snipe has similar proportions, but has dark rump and tail and golden stripes down back.
  • Stilt Sandpiper has longer legs, a shorter, slightly down-curved bill, and a white rump that does not extend up the back.
  • Short-billed Dowitcher is extremely similar and difficult to distinguish in most plumages. Voice is best character to distinguish adults. Juvenile short-billed has tiger-striped tertials instead of plain gray ones.