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The three dowitchers are medium-sized long-billed wading birds in the genus Limnodromus. The genus name is Ancient Greek from limne (marsh) and dromos (racer).[1] The English name is from Iroquois (1841).[2]

Long-billed dowitcher
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae
Subfamily: Scolopacinae
Genus: Limnodromus
Wied-Neuwied, 1833
Type species
Scolopax grisea
(Gmelin, 1789)

See text.

They resemble godwits in body and bill shape, and the reddish underparts in summer, but are much shorter legged, more like snipe to which they are also somewhat more closely related.[3] All three are strongly migratory.

The two North American species are difficult to separate in most plumages, and were considered a single species for many years. The Asian bird is rare and not well known.

The dowitcher species are:


  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  2. ^ "Dowitcher". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ Thomas, Gavin H.; Wills, Matthew A. & Székely, Tamás (2004): "A supertree approach to shorebird phylogeny[permanent dead link]".BMC Evol. Biol. 4: 28. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-4-28 PMID 15329156 Supplementary Material[permanent dead link]