Sunday, December 3, 2017

Long-Billed Dowitcher Flock



Long-Billed Dowitcher Flock

A beautiful Long-Billed Dowitcher flock feeding in fresh water marsh near the St Johns River in Florida. This is a first time capture of this species. They are often hard to distinguish between short-billed dowitchers which are more common generally in Florida, but prefer salt water.
Feeding Behavior
Typically forages by wading in shallow water (sometimes walking on wet mud), probing deeply in the mud with its bill. Usually deliberate in its feeding, standing in one spot or moving forward slowly.
Eggs
4, sometimes 3. Olive to brown, marked with brown. Incubation is by both sexes at first, then mostly or entirely by male in later stages. Incubation period 20-22 days. Young: Downy young leave nest shortly after hatching. Female reportedly departs near the time the eggs hatch, leaving male to care for young. Young find all their own food; development of young and age at first flight not well known.
Young
Downy young leave nest shortly after hatching. Female reportedly departs near the time the eggs hatch, leaving male to care for young. Young find all their own food; development of young and age at first flight not well known.
Diet
Small aquatic invertebrates. Diet probably varies with season. Particularly on breeding grounds, eats many insects and their larvae, including many flies, beetles, others. In migration and winter also eats mollusks, marine worms, crustaceans. At times, may feed heavily on seeds of grasses, bulrushes, pondweeds, other plants.
Nesting
Breeding range is mostly in Arctic coastal regions, generally farther north and west than that of Short-billed Dowitcher. Nest site is on ground, usually near water, often on raised hummock or tussock in wet meadow. Nest is a depression sparsely lined with sedges, grasses; bottom of nest is often wet.
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Long-Billed Dowitcher Flock




Long-Billed Dowitcher Flock