Daily Archives: March 23, 2019

Short-billed dowitcher, thoroughly photographed

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Short-billed Dowitcher, with a Willet for size.

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The dowitcher was tagging along behind the bigger bird, on the beach at Hobe Sound NWR, Jupiter Island.

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Cloudy day and my camera settings could have been better. I will learn all that when I’m finished renovating our new house. Yeah, right.

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This is my first dowitcher ID. Bird # 215 on the sidebar.

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Ruddy Turnstones were turning over sargassum in search of snacks. The dowitcher was interested.

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Lots of plastic trash was washing up with this bunch of weed.

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A medium to large shorebird with a long bill, the Short-billed Dowitcher is a common and conspicous migrant that uses a “sewing-machine” method of foraging across the mud flats. Its long bill is short only in comparison with the very similar Long-billed Dowitcher.

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Breeds in muskegs of taiga to timberline, and barely onto subarctic tundra.

Winters on coastal mud flats and brackish lagoons.

In migration prefers saltwater tidal flats, beaches, and salt marshes.

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A flock of Sanderlings arrived at our stretch of beach, with a couple of plovers mixed in.

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I had ID help on Facebook’s What’s This Bird… it’s a Black-bellied Plover, in non-breeding plumage. Latin name Pluvialis squatarola is kind of funny.

  • Wary and quick to give alarm calls, the Black-bellied Plover functions worldwide as a sentinel for mixed groups of shorebirds. These qualities allowed it to resist market hunters, and it remained common when populations of other species of similar size were devastated.

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One of our friends, exploring the beach.