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Which Dowitcher?


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#1 sgmfla

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:39 AM

Spotted in the morning in southeast Florida Stormwater Treatment Area (STA) 1East just west of Wellington, FL.

Have several photos of this bird, but the bill is in the water in all of them, this one is the best of the bunch.

Reviewing guide books, etc. my best guess is Short-billed Dowitcher
WHY: heavy barring on flanks, and the mottled pattern on the back...
DISCLAIMER: This is the first Dowitcher ID I've attempted... so I might be missing something that would make it obviously a long-billed to a more experienced birder.
REQUEST: Please confirm short-billed Dowitcher, or other ID and let me know what characteristics lead you to that ID.
Thanks!

Posted Image

Here's a link to the photo in Picasa if that works better for you:
https://picasaweb.go...868810336092402

New life birds in 2014:  Smooth-billed Ani, White-rumped Sandpiper, Blue Grosbeak, Red-crowned Parrot, Worm-eating Warbler, Black-whiskered Vireo, MacGillivray's Warbler, Virginia Rail, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Cinamon Teal, Tropical Kingbird, Wilson's Plover, White-tailed Kite, Swainson's Hawk, Canvasback, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Redhead, Harlequin Duck, and White-throated 


#2 Platypus

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 03:56 AM

I'm not going to touch this one because I'm not good at differentiating the two species by photograph. Even if someone gives you a guess, it's very hard to be completely sure unless you get a perfect shot.

But I'd like to recommend learning the calls of both species. They're very different and are by far the most reliable method of differentiating them. Hopefully someone can help you with the photo!

#3 sgmfla

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 04:23 AM

I'm not going to touch this one because I'm not good at differentiating the two species by photograph. Even if someone gives you a guess, it's very hard to be completely sure unless you get a perfect shot.

But I'd like to recommend learning the calls of both species. They're very different and are by far the most reliable method of differentiating them. Hopefully someone can help you with the photo!

Thanks... this one flew in, landed, and had his beak in the water... we never heard a noise from him...
I am also sharing the photo with others in the group we were with to see what they think (they had moved on and did not see this bird).

New life birds in 2014:  Smooth-billed Ani, White-rumped Sandpiper, Blue Grosbeak, Red-crowned Parrot, Worm-eating Warbler, Black-whiskered Vireo, MacGillivray's Warbler, Virginia Rail, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Cinamon Teal, Tropical Kingbird, Wilson's Plover, White-tailed Kite, Swainson's Hawk, Canvasback, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Redhead, Harlequin Duck, and White-throated 


#4 ColoTomo

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:21 AM

With rufous bars and white tips on the scaps and what appears to be rufous belly, I'm strongly leaning to Long-billed Dowitcher. But looks like transition, not fully but close to summer plumage. The eastern subspecies of Short-billed should have a whiter belly
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#5 sgmfla

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 05:36 AM

With rufous bars and white tips on the scaps and what appears to be rufous belly, I'm strongly leaning to Long-billed Dowitcher. But looks like transition, not fully but close to summer plumage. The eastern subspecies of Short-billed should have a whiter belly

Thanks for your thoughts!

What is your source for info about the eastern vs western subspecies? I do not have any info in my few guides that talks about that, so, suspect I need to be looking at some additional references ??? Any input you can provide will be greatly appreciated :-)

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#6 Parula

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:34 PM

yeah long billed. i identify by this saying long billed look like they ate a grape fruit, which makes the hump on their back

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#7 JimBob

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 01:35 PM

With rufous bars and white tips on the scaps and what appears to be rufous belly, I'm strongly leaning to Long-billed Dowitcher. But looks like transition, not fully but close to summer plumage. The eastern subspecies of Short-billed should have a whiter belly


I agree.

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#8 ColoTomo

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 02:44 PM

What is your source for info about the eastern vs western subspecies? I do not have any info in my few guides that talks about that


You can find that info in Sibley and Stokes. Those are the two primary field guides I use.
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#9 PragerBirds

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 06:41 PM

This was a super-helpful conversation to read though. I had a Dowitcher photo I needed to ID. The hump-back trick was really useful. Mine's a Long-Billed for sure. Thanks for explaining all this for the newbies!

#10 sgmfla

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:56 AM

You can find that info in Sibley and Stokes. Those are the two primary field guides I use.

Thank you!

New life birds in 2014:  Smooth-billed Ani, White-rumped Sandpiper, Blue Grosbeak, Red-crowned Parrot, Worm-eating Warbler, Black-whiskered Vireo, MacGillivray's Warbler, Virginia Rail, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Cinamon Teal, Tropical Kingbird, Wilson's Plover, White-tailed Kite, Swainson's Hawk, Canvasback, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Redhead, Harlequin Duck, and White-throated 


#11 sgmfla

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:57 AM

Thanks to each of you for your confirmation and explanations... they are extremely helpful!!!

New life birds in 2014:  Smooth-billed Ani, White-rumped Sandpiper, Blue Grosbeak, Red-crowned Parrot, Worm-eating Warbler, Black-whiskered Vireo, MacGillivray's Warbler, Virginia Rail, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Cinamon Teal, Tropical Kingbird, Wilson's Plover, White-tailed Kite, Swainson's Hawk, Canvasback, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Redhead, Harlequin Duck, and White-throated 


#12 jetmedix

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 05:32 AM

Here is a good article on the identificationof the two.

http://www.surfbirds...dowitchers.html

#13 sgmfla

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:12 AM

Here is a good article on the identificationof the two.

http://www.surfbirds...dowitchers.html

Thanks... Looks like I've got more studying to do :-)

New life birds in 2014:  Smooth-billed Ani, White-rumped Sandpiper, Blue Grosbeak, Red-crowned Parrot, Worm-eating Warbler, Black-whiskered Vireo, MacGillivray's Warbler, Virginia Rail, Cassin's Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Cinamon Teal, Tropical Kingbird, Wilson's Plover, White-tailed Kite, Swainson's Hawk, Canvasback, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Redhead, Harlequin Duck, and White-throated 





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