An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, the Marbled Godwit
Nov 23, 2017 10:44AM
By Paul Spear
An Imperial Beach Hidden Gem and Bird of the Week, Bryan Brillhart Photography present the “Dig IB” Bird of the Week, the Marbled Godwit
The Marbled Godwit
This week’s “Bird of the Week” is the “Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedo)”,
a large shorebird with a long, upturned bill. The Marbled Godwit breeds in the center of the continent and winters along the coasts. It breeds in the northern prairies, amongst grasslands and scattered wetlands. Nests of the Marbled Godwit are not easily found, as these birds do not readily flush off of their eggs. Incubating adults can sometimes be picked up from the nest. It breeds in marshes and flooded plains, in migration and winter also
on mudflats and beaches.
The Marbled Godwit feeds on mudflats and in marshes, forages mostly by probing in water or mud with long bill. It often wades and probes so deeply that head is underwater, and finds most food by touch, feeding by day or night. Its diet includes insects, mollusks, and crustaceans. In summer on prairies, it feeds mostly on insects, including many grasshoppers; also roots and seeds of various aquatic plants, such as sedges and pondweeds. On coast, it feeds on mollusks, marine worms, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.
It may nest in loose colonies. The male displays over breeding territory by flying over the area, calling loudly. On ground, members of a pair may go through ritualized nest-scrape making display. The nest site is on ground, usually in short grass on dry spot fairly close to water (sometimes far from water). The nest is a slight
depression, lined with dry grass, occasionally having a slight canopy of grass arranged above nest. 4, rarely 3-5 greenish to olive-buff, lightly spotted with brown eggs are incubated. Incubation is probably by both parents, 21-23 days. The incubating bird may sit motionless even
when approached closely. Young: Downy young leave the nest soon after hatching. Both parents tend young, but young find all their own food. Age of young at first flight is roughly 3 weeks.
Enjoy this awesome bird while walking along our beach and in the Tijuana Estuary. Both places are a terrific place to enjoy all that IB has to offer. ###
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