Language English The Gulf of St. Lawrence Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme Photo: Biodôme OngletsDescriptionDistinguishing features This medium-sized shorebird resembles a snipe, but has a very long bill and an elongated white triangle on its back. Its chest is bright red in summer and grey in fall. It can be identified most easily by its call. The male and female are similar in appearance. Reproduction These birds are usually monogamous for one season and the pair stays very close while incubating the eggs. The nest is usually built in a shallow depression on the ground. Usually 4 eggs are laid per clutch, with both the male and female incubating them, for 21 days. The female often leaves the breeding area shortly after the eggs hatch. Diet They eat aquatic insects, crustaceans, molluscs and the seeds of aquatic plants. They forage in the mud in shallow water, making quick movements reminiscent of a sewing machine. Near the nest, they eat mostly larvae and dipteran nymphs. Predators Hunting caused a major decline in many species of shorebirds, including these, before they were protected under the Migratory Birds Convention Act. Habitat During the nesting period, they live in wet fields, bogs or muskegs, with short vegetation. They are found in southern Alaska and throughout Canada. They winter from the southern United States to Brazil. Ecology, behaviour These birds are usually tolerant of others in the same species when feeding in groups. If food is scarce, however, they may become aggressive. Until the 1950's, short-billed dowitchers and long-billed dowitchers, which are morphologically similar, were considered to belong to the same species. French nameBécassin roux Scientific nameLimnodromus griseusPhylumChordataClassBirdsOrderCharadriiformesFamilyScolopacidaeSizeLength: 26.5 to 30.5 cmWeightAverage for male: 111 g; average for female: 116Life spanRecord: 13 years, 3 monthsStatusCommon migratory bird. Least concern (IUCN).