Short-billed Dowitcher
Limnodromus griseus
Family: Scolopacidae (Sandpipers)

Short-billed Dowitcher
Picture Info

The Short-billed Dowitcher has a long straight bill and in summer they are spangled chestnut and black above. In winter, they are gray all over. The breast is white to chestnut, white rump patch extending up the back and have greenish legs. The bird is snipe-like and measures between 10-12". The females are similar, but slightly larger than the male.

The Short-billed Dowitcher is more commonly seen near saltwater than the Long-billed Dowitcher which prefers fresh water.


The song of the Short-billed Dowitcher is a melodic tu-tu-tu.


Southern Alaska to Canada to west to Southern US. Winters all coasts southward of Oregon and Virgina.


The nest is hollow and made up of grasses, moss and lined with twigs, grasses and leaves. The nest can be found in marshes and bogs within boreal forests. Throughout the months of June and July, as many as 4 eggs are laid which are olive colored and spotted with brown. Incubation is by both pairs and takes approximately 21 days. It is unknown when the first young leaves the nest.

Natural Feeding Habits:

This bird eats eggs of king and horseshoe crabs by jabbing its long bill up and down. It's diet is mostly insects .

Other Names:

Other names for the Short-billed Dowitcher is Gray-back, Gray Snipe or Eastern Dowitcher.

Home | Site Introduction | Survival Needs | Bird Identifications | Gallery & Profiles
Habitats of Birds | Bird Migration | Odds & Ends | Birds and Nature Magazine | Resources | Search