Documentation of Short-billed Dowitcher

Observer Information

Reporter:  Steven Mlodinow  530 Peregrine Circle,   Longmont, CO  80504-8806
Other Observers:  None;

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Short-billed Dowitcher
First Date/Time:  8/6/2011
Last Date/Time: 
Duration (total time in view):  total time observed was about 30 seconds
County:  Weld
Specific Location:  Weld County Road 59 ponds
Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Unknown
Plumage:  Other/Unknown

Description of the Bird

While standing on the road between the two parts of the Weld CR 59 ponds, I heard the classic call of a SB Dowitcher (see above). I looked up and saw a dowitcher flying over head, calling. I thought that would be the last of it, but about 5-10 minutes later, it flew past me a couple times, fairly close, calling repeatedly. Why it was so agitated, I am not sure... maybe the numerous screaming Killdeer had agitated it. During the closer passes, I could tell it was an adult, orange beneath from stem to stern except a whiter area between legs. The bird had the long bill, white uppertail coverts/rump/lower back of a dowitcher, and the bird seen was clearly the bird calling. At its closest, it was about 50 feet away. Lighting was fair. The bird called 10-15 times, typically giving a couple renditions of the described vocalization above
Behaviors: see description
Call: Too-doo, too-doo-doo, too-doo-doo
Plumage: adult alternate

Similar Species Discussion

LB Dowitcher was eliminated by call. Rump/back pattern combined with long bill and orange underparts removes other species from consideration

Resources Used


Previous Experience

Extensive with both dowitchers, hearing thousands when I lived in WA and when I visit Baja California (well, thousands of LBDO, dozens of SBDO in Baja). Sometimes LBDO will give a tooting type call, but never the quality of this bird's repeated utterances.


Notes made AFTER observation

Additional Information

Comments: The bird's appearance is correct for typical hendersoni and wrong for caurinus or griseus.
Time: around 4:30 pm
Other Dates:
Nearest Town: Kearsey
Independent Observers:

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

8/21/2011 7:47:00 PM