Population status

Short-billed Dowitcher
(Limnodromus griseus)

The Short-billed Dowitcher breeds in bogs and muskegs of the boreal forest, in regions where coverage by the Breeding Bird Survey is poor (Jehl et al. 2001). Surveys of southbound migrants provide moderately reliable trend data; a large number of Short-billed Dowitchers are recorded but counts vary markedly year to year, in part, because some observers have difficulty distinguishing between Short-billed and Long-billed Dowitchers. The proportion of the population migrating through Ontario (where a large number of monitoring sites are located) is also unknown; there is therefore some uncertainty as to how representative the survey is for the entire population. Nevertheless, these migration-monitoring surveys suggest that the population has decreased by 70% since the early 1970s. The majority of this decrease occurred before the mid-1990s, after which the population trend levelled off. Limited data available from the breeding grounds vary; near Churchill, Manitoba, Short-billed Dowitchers have decreased in abundance relative to the 1960s at some locations but have increased at others (Jehl et al. 2001). The Short-billed Dowitcher has been below the lowest acceptable level relative to its national population goal since the mid-1990s (see graph below).


Population goal and acceptable levels of variation

Species/groupGoalLower levelUpper level
Short-billed DowitcherMean abundance (first 5 years of survey)Goal minus 25% Not applicable

Analyses of Shorebird Migration Monitoring Data

Additional information on: Analyses of Shorebird Migration Monitoring Data

Table 1: Population trends by geographic area
Geographic areaTime PeriodAnnual Trend Table 1 - footnote 1 Limits
North America Select to view graph of the geographic area: North America 1974-2016; Analyses of Shorebird Migration Monitoring Data1974-2016-2.9-8.43.4