Thursday, November 22, 2007

Marbled Godwit--Limosa fedoa

Marbled Godwit at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve

The things that I really like about the Marbled Godwit are its two-toned pink, black tipped bill, and the intricate brown-and-white pattern on its body. It's a very interesting looking bird. It winters on here and come breeding season heads to the center of the United States and Canada to breed in grasslands and prairies.
Marbled Godwit at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

There is a whole program called Godwits on the Go that tracks the Marbled Godwit to see where it is spending its time. There is lots of concern about the Marbled Godwit with both loss of wintering and breeding habitat. It is hoped that by tracking them that information will be found that will help us ensure that Marbled Godwits survive and thrive in the Americas.

Marbled Godwit at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

The Marbled Godwit is one of many shorebirds, but its pink-and-black bill set it apart from rest. With its pretty, just slightly upturned bill, it eats many squiggly and squishy things like worms, aquatic insects, crustaceans, and other things it finds in the grass, mud or wet beach sand. In addition to seeing them at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve, you will see Marbled Godwits across the street at Bolsa Chica Beach and other Orange County Beaches.

Marbled Godwit in the wet marsh vegetation at Bolsa Chica.

Although the sexes look almost the same, the female Marbled Godwit is larger than the male. The intricate pattern on the back resembles several other shore birds, but none has the black tipped pink bill of the Marbled Godwit.

Marbled Godwit concentrating on the buffet at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

You can find Marbled Godwits in shallow water, mud, in grass, or on the beach. Next time you are birding, look for a Marbled Godwit and watch it probe the mud or sand with its sturdy bill looking for squiggly, squishy treats.

Marbled Godwit at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

Marbled Godwit at Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.

Detailed information includes "Cool Facts," description, similar species discussion, sound recording, range map, habitat, reproduction, conservation status and more.

Detailed profile of the Marbled Godwit.

Conservation information including identification details, distribution and population trends, ecology, threats, and more.

Detailed profile, recordings, and photos.

USGS North Prairie Wildlife Research Center's article with lots of information on the importance of grasslands to the Marbled Godwit.

Godwit Days
Festival about Godwits and other birds in Humboldt County.

USGS Fort Collins Colorado Science Center in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) tracks Marbled Godwits. They are concerned about their well-being due to loss of habitat. Read about the program and why they track Marbled Godwits, why they care where they go, check the progress of certain Marbled Godwits, and read the FAQs. Very interesting article and project.

Montana Animal Field Guide: Marbled Godwit
Good article about the Marbled Godwit.
Information includes identification tips and a discussion of similar species.


Some more photos.

Courtesy National Biological Information Infrastructure

Courtesy US Fish and Wildlife Service

Taking a snooze. Courtesy of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Photo Links
Photo from Birder's World.

Stokes Birding Blog: Wings

Lillian Stokes got a nice shot of a Marbled Godwit and Willet landing. Good chance to compare wings.

Nine photographs of Marbled Godwits.


Internet Bird Collection: Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwits feeding on the beach.

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