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There are two types of dowitchers in North America, the Long-billed Dowitcher and the Short-billed Dowitcher. The Short-billed Dowitcher covers a larger range and is commonly seen from the west coast to the east coast. The Long-billed Dowitcher is more likely to be seen in the western areas of the continent down into Texas and Mexico. These two bird types are quite similar to each other in size and to snipes and woodcocks, as each of these birds have long bills too.
The dowitchers travel with other shorebirds in their Spring and Fall migrations. They are sometimes seen in large numbers with their own kind and also with mixed flocks. These birds are more likely to be observed traveling in their migrations than any other times of the year. They show up on different coastlines, at the edge of the water and on shorelines and mudflats in the interior of the continent. They use their long bills to probe deep into the soft mud and sand searching for worms and other life forms hidden there. Most times dowitchers are easy to approach and allow close observation as they go about their own business.