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Long-billed Dowitcher?


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Seen yesterday at Loess Bluffs NWR in NW Missouri.  I have a few shots of them next to an American Avocet, if that'd help with size comparison.  I don't think I ever saw them fly, but they never strayed more than a foot apart.  My immediate thought was Wilson's Snipe, but now I'm leaning towards Long-billed Dowitcher.

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Agree with Short-billed Dowitchers. I love the pictures!

Sort-billed Dowitchers sides are barred, not spotted like Long-billed Dowitcher, otherwise extremely similar to Long-billed in all plumages, especially winter when both species are plain gray. Long-billed tends to favor freshwater habitats, but much overlap. Most obvious difference is voice; Short-billed gives rapid series of notes "tu-tu-tu" unlike single piercing "keek!" of Long-billed.

Edited by Jefferson Shank
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7 hours ago, smittyone@cox.net said:

Wouldn't short-billed have more orange tones on the breast and flanks?

I don't think that feature applies to nonbreeding adults. I based my ID on the barred underwing lesser coverts, but I could be wrong.

@akiley could give you a more definite answer.

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21 hours ago, akandula said:

I don't think that feature applies to nonbreeding adults. I based my ID on the barred underwing lesser coverts, but I could be wrong.

@akiley could give you a more definite answer.

Any feature involving orange/red color definitely isn't relevant for basic plumaged birds. I would agree with SB for the reasons you mentioned on the open wing and also, these birds seems fairly slim in shape. I don't get a LB impression from either bird.

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That photo with the bird stretching gives a good look at the tail, the white bars are about as wide as the black bars which is good for Short-billed (with Long-billed the black bars are broader and the white bars narrower). Also notice the folded wing on the stretching bird - looks like fair amount of primary projection beyond the tertials, also looks good for Short-billed

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