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The Short-billed Dowitcher (Limnodromus griseus) like its congener the Long-billed Dowitcher, is a medium-sized, stocky, long-billed shorebird in the family Scolopacidae. It is an inhabitant of North America, Middle America, and northern South America. It is strongly migratory; it completely vacates in breeding areas during the snow-bound months. This species favors a variety of habitats including tundra in the north to ponds and mudflats in the south. It feeds on invertebrates often by rapidly probing its bill into mud in a sewing machine fashion. It and the very similar Long-billed Dowitcher were considered one species until 1950. Field identification of the two American Limnodromus remains difficult today. Distinguishing wintering or juvenile Short-billed Dowitchers from the Long-billed species is very difficult and, even given examination their subtlety different body shapes, cannot always be isolated to a particular species. They differ most substantially in vocalizations. The names of American dowitchers are misleading, as there is much overlap in their bill lengths. Only a small percentage can be identified by this character alone.
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1. a dowitcher with a gray back
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