For over two weeks I’ve studied the photos I took at Long Beach on August 30, 2017 and consulted my trusty bird-books to determine whether these are Short-billed or Long-billed Dowitchers.
“A medium to large shorebird with a long bill, the Short-billed Dowitcher is a common and conspicuous migrant that uses a “sewing-machine” method of foraging across the mud flats. Its long bill is short only in comparison with the very similar Long-billed Dowitcher.”
“There is little information on Short-billed Dowitcher population trends. A 2012 study found no updated information, and so the latest population estimate is from 2006.
“Three subspecies of Short-billed Dowitcher breed in North America…central and eastern populations appear stable….It is not clear what population trends are in western populations. Short-billed Dowitcher is on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List, which lists bird species that are at risk of becoming threatened or endangered without conservation action.”
Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus
tideflat migrant flock
long straight bills knee deep in muck
probe deeply for feed
winter coast-mud-flat dweller
on the way somewhere