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Long-billed Dowitcher Photos

Photography by Terry Sohl

My Favorite: Long-billed Dowitchers are a pretty common shorebird migrant in South Dakota, both in the spring and the summer months. Usually you see them in small groups, all foraging in shallow water together. My favorite photo of the species is the one below from Lake Whitewood on May 2010.

Note it is EXTREMELY difficult to differentiate Long-billed Dowitchers from Short-billed Dowitchers. Long-billed Dowitchers are the more common in the state, and the first assumption of a dowitcher spotted in South Dakota should be Long-billed, unless you have definitive evidence otherwise. That "definitive evidence" is difficult, however! Even my "favorite" photo below...I see a bill that perhaps has a slight drop at the end, which would be a Short-billed Dowitcher characteristic. There are other things that don't seem to be there though for Long-billed, including a noticeable "dip" at the bottom curve where the back meets the rump. I don't have trouble in identifying most birds, but differentiating these two is still a challenge!

Long-billed Dowitcher - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 1 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 2 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 3 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 4 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 1 

Long-billed Dowitcher 2 

Long-billed Dowitcher 3 

Long-billed Dowitcher 4 

September 30th, 2004 

May 3rd, 2005 

May 5th, 2006 

May 3rd, 2005 

Lake Thompson, South Dakota 

Lake Thompson, South Dakota 

Lake Thompson, South Dakota 

Lake Thompson, South Dakota 

Lone bird in winter plumage 

Group of feeding birds in breeding plumage 

Breeding plumage adult in shallow water wetland 

Breeding plumaged bird wading in shallow water 

Long-billed Dowitcher 5 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 6 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 7 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 8 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 5 

Long-billed Dowitcher 6 

Long-billed Dowitcher 7 

Long-billed Dowitcher 8 

May 3rd, 2005May 3rd, 2005 

May 5th, 2006 

July 11th, 2009 

May 14th, 2010 

Lake Thompson, South Dakota 

Lake Thompson, South Dakota 

Sully County, South Dakota 

Lake Whitewood, South Dakota 

Flock of foraging birds in shallow water 

Bird feeding in shallow waters of large lage 

Flock foraging in shallow water (with American Avocet buddy) 

Single bird perched on rocky shoreline, in breeding plumage 

Long-billed Dowitcher 9 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 10 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Hudsonian Godwit and Long-billed Dowitchers 1

Long-billed Dowitcher 11 - Limnodromus scolopaceus 

Long-billed Dowitcher 9 

Long-billed Dowitcher 10 

Long-billed Dowitcher and Hudsonian Godwit

Long-billed Dowitcher 11 

May 9th, 2011 

May 9th, 2011 

April 23rd, 2017 

December 28th, 2018 

Near Worthing, South Dakota

Near Worthing, South Dakota 

Western Minnehaha County, South Dakota 

Gilbert Water Ranch, Arizona 

Three breeding plumaged birds in shallow water 

Flock standing at the edge of a large wetland 

Flock in flight, mixed with Hudsonian Godwits

Non-breeding bird foraging in shallow pond 

Long-billed Dowitcher 12 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 13 - Limnodromus scolopaceus

Long-billed Dowitcher 12

Long-billed Dowitcher 13

July 5th, 2020

July 5th, 2020

Hughes County, South Dakota

Hughes County, South Dakota

Worn breeding plumaged bird

Worn breeding plumaged bird

Click here for the species description page for the Long-billed Dowitcher.

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