Limnodromus Griseus – Short-Billed Dowitcher

Limnodromus Griseus - Short-Billed Dowitcher found all throughout in the United States

Like its congener, the long-billed dowitcher, the short-billed dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus) is a medium-sized, stocky, long-billed shorebird in the family Scolopacidae. Limnodromus is derived from the Ancient Greek words limne, “marsh,” and dromos, “racer.” The specific epithet griseus means “grey” in Medieval Latin. The English word is derived from the Iroquois language and was first used in 1841.

Quick Overview: Limnodromus Griseus – Short-Billed Dowitcher
Body size: Around 10.5-12 in (27-30 cm) and a weight of 154 g (5.43 oz)
Main colors: Brown, Red, Black, White, Yellow
Range: Throughout the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May, September, October, November
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Short-billed Dowitcher Description

Adults have a dark brown top and a reddish underside. The tail is banded in black and white. Legs are a pale-yellow tint.

Limnodromus Griseus - Short-Billed Dowitcher found all throughout in the United States
Limnodromus Griseus – Short-Billed Dowitcher. Photo by: Dfaulder


These birds have a length of 10.5-12 in (27-30 cm) and a weight of 154 g (5.43 oz). Their wings could range from 18-22 in (46-56 cm).


These birds graze in shallow water or on damp mud by probing. They mostly consume insects, mollusks, crustaceans, and marine worms, although they will sometimes consume some plant material.


Mudflats, creeks, salt marshes, and tidal estuaries are preferred environments.


Typically forages by wading in shallow water (sometimes walking on wet mud), its bill probing deeply into the muck. Generally methodical in its feeding, either stationary or moving slowly.

Limnodromus Griseus Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Scolopacidae
  • Genus: Limnodromus
  • Species: Limnodromus griseus

Best time of the year to see

 In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds are during the Spring season (March-May) and during the Autumn season (September – November).

Distribution of the Short-billed Dowitcher in the USA

Breeds in southern Alaska central and northern Canada. Winters in the California and Virginia beaches before migrating south along the Gulf Coast, West Indies, Baja Peninsula, and coastal Mexico.

The Short-billed Dowitcher can be found in the following states in the United States – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Limnodromus Griseus – Short-Billed Dowitcher

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