The Identification and Migration of Breeding Plumaged Dowitchers in Southern Ontario
by Alvaro Jaramillo, Ron Pittaway and Peter Burke
Dowitcher taxonomy and identification have caused a great deal of confusion in the past. Originally, the Long-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus scolopaceus and Short-billed Dowitcher Limnodromus griseus were described as different species. Due to the frequent observations of birds that appeared to be intermediate, the two forms were lumped (Bent 1927). In 1932 W.Rowan published a paper describing the newly discovered breeding population of Short-billed Dowitchers in Alberta and Manitoba. He decided that these bright looking birds were worthy of subspecific recognition, L.g.hendersoni (Rowan 1932). He also concluded that Long-billed Dowitcher was a separate species, partly because birds identified as intermediates were actually L.g.hendersoni.