The Eastern Redshank, also called simply redshank, is an exceptionally small bird with a short stubby beak. It is the smallest member of its genus, and its scientific name, meaning "wingless woodpecker," comes from the Latin word "dotes" for "wing." It is also called "stumper," because it usually sits on the branches of trees in wet or damp fields. This bird has an unusually large bill, which tips the scale at nearly two inches in length.
The Eastern Redshank is a common garden bird found throughout most of the continent, excepting the Alaskan north-west coast. It is widely distributed in Central and Western America, excepting the central Pacific coast and parts of the southern Rocky Mountains. The bird has very large eyes, with dark brown or reddish colored feathering. Its head is often triangular with a thick upper lip, and it often has a bright red breast and yellowish belly.
While the Eastern Redshank may be found in a number of different habitats, the most common area for these birds is meadows, where they feed on a variety of grasses and seeds. They also feed on nuthatches, chickweed, oaks, ramsons, and chickweed lily. They have also been recorded from fields, roadsides, and other areas with wooded ground. Bird watchers and researchers note that these birds, particularly the male, often fly up into shrubs and trees to feed. The male also frequents open meadows, providing a good food supply for female dotterels. In addition to bird watching, the Eastern Redshank is an excellent game bird.
In Dutch, the word dotterer translates to "a bird who sings in a sweet tone." These batterers are small and black, sometimes white with red and pink markings on their chests. Their beaks are short and stubby; they are also somewhat pointed. These birds also have a white breast, and they are pink or red in the chest.
Another name for batterer is "tatterdok" which means "a kind of small bird which sings in a sweet tone." This type of bird is quite common in Central and South America and in parts of the Western Hemisphere. A male taterdok sits on a branch watching the clouds as it sings. The male's beak is slightly larger than the female's; it is also narrower and of a darker color. The male taterdok is slightly smaller than the female, but both are quite attractive birds.
Tatterdoks are generally nocturnal and are best seen between dusk and dawn. When you see one, it is likely sitting low to the ground in a grassy area where there are few other bird species. It may be sitting alone or in a pair, and it may be a little smaller than other night bird species.
It is also called a blue-eyed batterer and the males are sometimes called blue-eyed ducklings. It is very common in parks and near water. If you find one in your yard, it would be best to try to get a picture of it to submit it to Birding Exhibits because most people will be able to recognize it. In fact, my family has often asked us to submit pictures of our friends and relatives that we have not even seen yet so that they can be identified.
Tatterdoks are not nearly as common in the United States as they are in Central and South America. One reason for this is that they do not tend to be as large or loud as some of the other large, colorful birds like the doves or quail. They also tend to be a bit more shy and hard to find than a dogeared.