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Shorebird Help 2 - Dowitcher/Yellowleg


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I posted these photos as links in another post, but realized it's better if I upload the photos instead. 

There are 4 different birds in these photos, I have id'ed the Willet, the Ruddy, and the Sanderling.  I'm trying to ID the second largest birds with the really long nose.  I'm thinking it might be a Dowitcher or Yellowleg.  Any ideas/advice to help id?  They were seen in November in the Florida Keys. 

IMG_7946.JPG.3743e5f6878593184d0e0b2ce39cfa91.JPGIMG_7966.JPG.f9978399c7c6c93da3454eedda0072d1.JPG

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The second largest birds here are Dowitchers- now the real challenge is separating the two, which at the best of times is extremely hard. The rightmost bird in both photos looks like a classic Short-billed to me, notice the relatively short bill and brownish coloration. That said, I'm inclined to go for Long-billed for the leftmost bird and perhaps the few around it- notice the very long bill and dark all-gray coloration, as well as the fact that it appears slightly larger overall than the Short-billed on the right.

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54 minutes ago, Benjamin said:

The second largest birds here are Dowitchers- now the real challenge is separating the two, which at the best of times is extremely hard. The rightmost bird in both photos looks like a classic Short-billed to me, notice the relatively short bill and brownish coloration. That said, I'm inclined to go for Long-billed for the leftmost bird and perhaps the few around it- notice the very long bill and dark all-gray coloration, as well as the fact that it appears slightly larger overall than the Short-billed on the right.

WOW, so it's totally normal that the two birds (long and short bill) all congregate together?  That's so cool!

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So generally in most of the US one species dominates over the other- Short-billed in the east, Long-billed in the west. However, in certain areas like the gulf coast, both species are found in reasonable numbers and it's totally normal for them to be seen in the same location, especially during winter.

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On 7/15/2020 at 10:55 PM, Benjamin said:

So generally in most of the US one species dominates over the other- Short-billed in the east, Long-billed in the west. However, in certain areas like the gulf coast, both species are found in reasonable numbers and it's totally normal for them to be seen in the same location, especially during winter.

Actually, the difference is more nuanced than that. Short-billed is a denizen of saltwater where available, while Long-billed is nearly restricted to freshwater. The location screams Short-billed.

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