Short-billed Dowitcher at the edge of a tidal lagoonShort-billed Dowitcher at the edge of a tidal lagoon – 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.