Short-billed Dowitchers - some variation in subspecies hendersoni

Hillman Shorebird Cell near Point Pelee, Ontario in May 2007

This individual is the subspecies hendersoni by its bright upperparts, light spotting and extensive cinnamon colour below. 16 May 2007.


Many hendersoni such as this individual have considerable barring on the flanks and spotting across the lower neck. 17 May 2007.


Possibly a hendersoni in first prealternate molt. Many year-old birds acquire very little or limited alternate plumage. Some alternate scapulars are intermediate in color and pattern between alternate and basic feathers likely due to lower hormone levels in a subadult bird. 6 May 2007.


A classic hendersoni subspecies similar to those illustrated in field guides. However, many hendersoni are much less richly colored, more spotted below, and with more white by the legs. 16 May 2007.


Another classic hendersoni. 16 May 2007.


Many hendersoni have much white feathering below the legs and on the undertail coverts, unlike the classic birds shown in bird guides. 17 May 2007.


Another hendersoni with fine spotting below. 16 May 2007.


Bright and wide feather fringes above are typical of hendersoni, but extensive markings on sides of breast and reduced cinnamon below indicate possible slight intergradation with griseus or individual variation in hendersoni. 17 May 2007.


This individual is lightly spotted below with reduced cinnamon. It is probably a less colorful hendersoni. 16 May 2007.


Heavy spotting across the chest, wide dark bars on side of the breast and restricted cinnamon color indicate a griseus. 16 May 2007.


Another hendersoni showing the prehensile tips to bill for grasping food when probing. Most shorebirds have this adaptation. 17 May 2007.