Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Short-billed Dowitcher

At the end of our 29 July 2021 pelagic trip, a few Short-billed Dowitchers strolled among the Marbled Godwits at the Westport, Washington, marina. Compare this bird to Long-billed Dowitchers Erika and I saw at the Nisqually national wildlife refuge on 16 July. Telling the dowitchers apart is difficult. I could do it in Minnesota, but here in Washington I am dealing with unfamiliar races. Adult western Short-billed Dowitchers have densely spotted breasts. Short-billed Dowitchers have white bellies, while Long-billeds have rufous bellies. The two dowitchers were once thought to be but one species, but the two populations have different calls. This Short-billed Dowitcher is the first of the species for my Washington bird list.

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