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Thread: Dowitcher ID

  1. #1
    Senior Member AndyB's Avatar
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    Default Dowitcher ID

    I don't browse through the ID discussion gallery often enough. Take a look as there are a few other interesting birds in there some of you might be better equipped than I to comment on.

    Top photo is this dowitcher with a request for ID help:

    limnodromus sp, california (USA), santa barbara August 1996 by evrard

    I thought a thread on dowitchers could be useful for others searching in the future. There is this Surfbirds article from a couple of years ago that summarizes some of the old and new features with photos.

    If you're a beginner, it is worth familiarizing yourself with the topography of a shorebird before you start getting too involved trying to ID some of these tricky species. Knowing where the tertials and scapulars are is essential to ageing and therefore IDing some of these shorebirds.

    For this dowitcher, the orangey back feathers indicate it's a juvenile and the internal tiger-striped tertials point towards Short-billed Dowitcher. Other supporting features include the buffy breast and rather flat backed look. I might be stretching here but even though you cannot see bill shape, it looks as if it's wading in fairly shallow water and therefore, relatively short-legged (again a pro Short-billed feature).

    Please add to this thread if you have other thoughts or comments or a dowitcher you want help on.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Nelson, BC
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    Default

    Hi Andy,
    Looks good for Short-billed to me too. In addition to the points you stated, and I know this is sometimes considered an inconsistent fiels mark, the tail pattern(black and white stripes of even thickness) fits S-B.
    Cheers

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