Short-billed Dowitcher

Short-billed DowitcherShort-billed Dowitcher – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/250, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Short-billed Dowitchers (Limnodromus griseus) spend their breeding season in remote northern bogs which means loads of biting bugs, but during other times of the year they can be found on coastal mudflats, saltmarshes or freshwater pools near the coastlines of North, Central and South America.

The bird above was going into breeding plumage and was resting along the Gulf Coast of Florida on its way north.

Short-billed Dowitchers feed on insects, crustaceans and aquatic mollusks. Quite often when I lived in Florida I would see them feeding on Coquinas which are small bivalves or tiny Fiddler Crabs.

Dowitchers can live up to 20 years in the wild and are social birds that are often seen in large flocks.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Beautiful as always! I’ve never seen one IRL. Beautiful light!

  2. Beautiful capture of a pretty bird, Mia. I have only seen one once from a distance, but seeing a close up like this in breeding plumage is fantastic.

  3. Hi Mia, I’m really glad to come across your wonderful blog! Your images are magical,and your blog is super informative!

  4. A beautiful photograph of this treasure which I have never seen. Long-billed Dowitchers aplenty but I’ve not spotted a Short-billed yet. The plumage patterns on this bird are just gorgeous Mia! I have only seen the Long-billed in non-breeding plumage. I hope you didn’t get any sand in your lens taking this shot ;-)

    • Thanks for your very kind comment on this Dowitcher image Larry. I hope that you see & photograph a Short-billed soon.

      I didn’t get any sand in my gear taking this image, I was actually more concerned about the water I was in to take the shot. But I have never dropped/dunked or dipped my lenses into water. Thank goodness!

  5. Nice shot! Just the other day I was staring at a Dowitcher for a long time trying to turn it into a Short-Billed. I never could, and never got a good look at the beak. Oh well…

  6. Such a beautiful bird. The detail is wonderful. I couldn’t stop looking at him. I love the markings on his feathers. Carol

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