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'Tis the season for sorting out dowitchers, and I'd love some feedback on this individual I found this morning in the Rogue Valley of southern OR (where Long-billed is the expected species). Earlier in the morning I and several other birders heard a definite short-billed calling at a local pond, so I went back in the afternoon to see if I could locate it. Other than a large flock of obvious long-bills, there was just one lone dowitcher off by itself. It never called so I don't feel comfortable making the call, but to me it looked interesting and I'd like some help with it.

Obviously it's looking pretty ratty, and that may be part of why it stood out so much from our usual long-bills. But I also notice it is relatively pale underneath and there is spotting on the sides of the breast rather than barring. But I don't really know much beyond that for trying to separate the two species since I rarely see short-billed in our area, and I'm not positive if I'm just seeing some transitional plumage as its molting. Would love any insights!

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2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

Because we all know the D stands for 'Dowitcher'.

I’ve been called lots of things before, but never “Dowitcher.” I like it!

I agree that this is a SBDO. And although this is super variable and should not be used as a sole ID feature, the bill on this bird does appear relatively short to me.

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