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The bills of the Short-billed Dowitcher and Long-billed Dowitcher overlap and their plumage is almost identical so the only way to reliably separate the species is by call. You can hear the call recordings of this bird on Cornell Labs.
Fortunately they tend not to mix. The spring bird is almost always the Short-billed Dowitcher and the late fall bird is almost certainly the Long-billed Dowitcher. They do mix in the early fall but the Long-billed Dowitcher is less common at that time. Learn the calls and be cool!
Keywords: Canada, Nova Scotia, Shorebirds of Nova Scotia, Short-billed Dowitcher
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