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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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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

  • Adult breeding

    Long-billed Dowitcher

    Adult breeding
    • © Kevin T. Karlson, Alaska, June 2000
  • Adult nonbreeding

    Long-billed Dowitcher

    Adult nonbreeding
    • © William L. Newton / CLO
  • Juvenile

    Long-billed Dowitcher

    • © Brian E. Small

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.