Long-billed Dowitcher
(Limnodromus scolopaceus)


Picture of bird
© Jukka Jantunen (flickr.com/photos/jukka_jantunen)
For additional photos and vocalizations, visit Dendroica. (Link opens in a new window.)

Long-billed Dowitchers breed in the western Arctic and winter along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States and Mexico. Continental migration monitoring surveys suggest that Long-billed Dowitchers have shown little overall change in population relative to 1970, but variability in results and problems in species identification lessen the reliability of this status assessment to the extent that the species’ status in Canada is considered to be data deficient. Long-billed Dowitchers often forage in agricultural wetlands and polluted estuaries and are known to be exposed to harmful levels of contaminants in some areas. This species has been identified as a priority for conservation and/or stewardship in one or more Bird Conservation Region Strategies in Canada.


Main designations for the species
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies, population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2018 
Wild Species (Canada)Vulnerable2015 
Bird Conservation Region StrategyPriority Species2013 

Population status

Geographic area or populationPopulation change relative to ~1970ReliabilityStatus in relation to goal
CanadaData DeficientData DeficientData Deficient

Population estimate

Geographic area or populationPopulation estimate
Canada100,000 - 500,000 adults (includes birds breeding and migrating within Canada)

Distribution maps


Migration strategy, occurrence

Short-distance migrant

Responsibility for conservation

Geographic areaResponsibility based on % of global population

Conservation and management

During the non-breeding season, Long-billed Dowitchers forage for invertebrates by probing into the rich sediment of estuaries and agricultural wetlands in agricultural areas. Contaminants can accumulate in the sediment in these areas; Long-billed Dowitchers have been observed to carry high burdens of persistent organic pollutants, such as DDE (White et al. 1983).


Bird conservation region strategies

Environment and Climate Change Canada and partners have developed Bird Conservation Region Strategies in each of Canada’s Bird Conservation Regions (BCRs). In these strategies, selected species are identified as priorities for one or more of the following reasons:

  • conservation concerns (i.e., species vulnerable due to population size, distribution, population trend, abundance, or threats)
  • stewardship responsibilities (i.e., species that typify the regional avifauna or have a large proportion of their range or population in the sub-region)
  • management concerns (i.e., species that require ongoing management because of their socio-economic importance as game species, or because of their impacts on other species or habitats)
  • other concerns (i.e., species deemed a priority by regional experts for other reasons than those listed above or because they are listed as species at risk or concern at the provincial level)

Select any of the sub-regions below to view the BCR strategy for additional details.

BCRs, marine biogeographic units, and sub-regions in which the species is listed as a priority
RegionSub-region and priority type
Prairie PotholesPrairie Potholes, sub-region and priority type: Prairie and Northern -- Other