Long-billed Dowitcher at Scanlon Creek CA - Simcoe Counrty

Long-billed Dowitcher molting into alternate (breeding) plumage. Note scattered gray basic (winter) feathers of this bird in active body molt. Best to use a suite of characters to identify dowitchers. See Below. Generally dowitchers seen in Ontario before May are Long-billed. Scanlon Creek Conservation Area near Bradford in Simcoe County. 21 April 2012


This Long-billed Dowitcher has heavy spotting across the neck and extensive rufous extending well down the belly. This combination is rare in Short-billed Dowitchers. Note the well-formed black bars with white fringes on the side of the breast in front of the bend in the wing. 21 April 2012


Narrow white bars on the tail are typical of Long-billed, but are also found on the eastern nominate Short-billed subspecies griseus, except griseus usually has a white belly. The hendersoni subspecies of Short-billed Dowitcher has wide white bars on the tail. The conspicuous white-tipped scapulars also indicate Long-billed. The illustrations and text in the 5th and 6th editions of the National Geographic Guide are the best for identifying Long-billed and Short-billed Dowitchers. 21 April 2012


Links to Spring Long-billed Dowitchers in Ontario


This Long-billed Dowitcher near Hamilton in April 2010 was at a similar stage in molt to today's Long-billed.  http://www.jeaniron.ca/Shorebirds/2010/lbdow2010.htm


Long-billed Dowitcher at Hillman Shorebird Cell near Point Pelee