Long-billed Dowitcher

Long-billed Dowitcher - breeding(Limnodromus scolopaceus)
Long-billed Dowitcher – breeding
Long billed Dowitcher - non-breeding
Long-billed Dowitcher – non-breeding

Long-billed Dowitchers are aptly named because their black bills are twice as long as their heads. Breeding adult Long-billed Dowitchers have a beautiful rusty-orange color and are darker on the back.

Non-breeding adult Long-billed Dowitchers are generally gray overall. Juveniles are a combination of breeding and non-breeding adults. They have grayish heads and breasts like the non-breeding adults but are mottled brown and cinnamon on top like the breeding ones.

  • Limnodromus scolopaceus
  • Length: 11 – 12.5 in (28 – 32 cm) 
  • Weight: 4.76 oz (135 g)
  • Wingspan: 18 – 20 in (46 – 51 cm)


Habitat and Diet

You can find Long-billed Dowitchers in muddy wet areas such as wet meadows, tidal flats, and marshes. They prefer shallow freshwater areas than saltwater.

Long-billed Dowitchers mostly eat insects like beetles, caterpillars, and midges and their larvae. When they probe the wet and muddy ground, they can capture mollusks, clams, marine worms, and some plants.

Their bills are very sensitive and they have excellent night vision so they can take advantage of foraging at night.

Long-billed Dowitcher Calls:


Nests of Long-billed Dowitchers are shallow depressions lined with grass, usually located on elevated grounds near small ponds. The female lays four eggs and they take twenty days to hatch. Once they’re hatched, it’s the male that takes care of the chicks until they fledge. 

Fun Fact:

The Long-billed Dowitcher used to be indistinguishable from the Short-billed Dowitcher but now they are recognised as separate species. There call is different is the best way to tell.