Long-billed dowitcher

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Long-billed dowitcher
Limnodromus scolopaceus Mike Baird crop.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Suborder: Scolopaci
Family: Scolopacidae
Genus: Limnodromus
Species: L. scolopaceus
Binomial name
Limnodromus scolopaceus
(Say, 1823)

The long-billed dowitcher (Limnodromus scolopaceus) is a medium-sized shorebird. The genus name Limnodromus is Ancient Greek from limne, "marsh" and dromos, "racer". The specific scolopaceus is New Latin for "snipe-like", from Latin scolopax, scolopacis, a snipe or woodcock.[2] The English name is from Iroquois and was first recorded in 1841.[3]

Adults have yellowish legs and a long straight dark bill. The body is dark brown on top and reddish underneath with spotted throat and breast, bars on flanks. The tail has a black and white barred pattern. The winter plumage of both an adult and a juvenile is largely grey.

Their breeding habitat is wet tundra in the far north of North America and eastern Siberia. They nest on the ground, usually near water.

They migrate to the southern United States and as far south as Central America. Long-billed dowitcher is a rare but regular visitor to western Europe, with some individuals staying for long periods.

These birds forage by probing in shallow water or on wet mud. They mainly eat insects, mollusks, crustaceans and marine worms, but also eat some plant material.

They are more likely to be seen near fresh water than the short-billed dowitcher.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Limnodromus scolopaceus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 227, 351. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  3. ^ "Dowitcher". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

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