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Taken on 10-3-2021 on the Los Angeles River at Willow Street, Long Beach, CA -- 3 miles upstream from Long Beach Harbor.

Can either of these Dowitchers be identified?

And I have a question about Dowitcher bill length.  Does the length of the bill vary noticeably for both species.  I.e., does the bill length of a Long-billed Dowitcher vary significantly from one bird to another?   And, does the bill length of a Short-billed Dowitcher vary significantly from one bird to another?  If so, does a Long-billed Dowitcher with a shorter bill have about the same length of bill as a Short-billed Dowitcher with a longer bill?

2021-10-03_LA_River_(Willow)_7121_w.jpg

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4 minutes ago, Dan P said:

does a Long-billed Dowitcher with a shorter bill have about the same length of bill as a Short-billed Dowitcher with a longer bill?

Yes, bill length is not helpful with IDing Dowichers. 

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Yes, bill length varies with regards to the sex the bird, and then there is individual variation within a species. Thus, only birds on the extreme ends of either spectrum can be identified with confidence…which also usually includes additional data (vocalizations, location, field marks on breeding birds and juvs., etc.).

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3 hours ago, DLecy said:

...Thus, only birds on the extreme ends of either spectrum can be identified with confidence…

Would the bill on this bird be considered at the extreme end of the spectrum?

2021-10-03_LA_River_(Willow)_6130_chse.jpg

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1 hour ago, AlexHenry said:

Just use vocalizations, don't even try to identify them based on how they look (at least until you are much more familiar with them, or if they are juveniles or fresh breeding plumage adults)

I didn't know that the vocalizations were important in identifying them.  Next time I will be prepared.

I saw my first Dowitcher a few weeks ago on 9/21 in San Diego County (a single bird).

On this recent excursion on 10/3, there were about 90 of them in a single group in the shallow water.  A few times I caught smaller groups of them in-flight -- probably some of the same ones that were in that group of 90 in the water.

A person that submitted a checklist from that same location for the morning of the previous day reported 220 Long-billed Dowitchers and no Short-billed Dowitchers.  I know that doesn't mean much.  

I'm going to report one Long-billed (the one flying that Seanbirds ID'd), and 90 Long-billed/Short-billed.

Thanks all.

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