photo by Phil Swanson
L 11 1/2″ (29 cm).
Song or calls:
Sharp high-pitched “keek.”
Description: Sexes similar. Long black bill. Breeding adults are dark brown above, and rusty below with black barring on breast and sides (Short-billed Dowitcher is spotted on breast). Will never show white on belly. Winter birds are gray above and white below with gray wash on breast and neck. Juveniles are brownish above and mottled buff below.
Habitat: Muddy flats and mud-bottom ponds. Feeds by probing in shallow water.
Where in Nebraska: Common spring and fall migrant across the state.
Field Notes: Best distinguished from Short-billed Dowitcher by their calls.
Fun Facts: Chicks are able to walk immediately and leave the nest when all have hatched.