Marbled Godwit: Large sandpiper with black-marked, dark brown upperparts, lightly barred, chestnut-brown underparts. Long pink bill has black tip, is slightly upcurved. Pale brown underwings visible in flight. Feeds on crustaceans, mollusks, worms, insects, seeds, berries. Swift and direct flight.
Range and Habitat
Marbled Godwit: Breeds on the central plains from Saskatchewan to Minnesota. Spends winters on the coast from California and Virginia southward and along the Gulf coast. During breeding season, found on grassy plains and during migration, visits salt marshes, tidal creeks, mudflats, and sea beaches.
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 often inserts its entire bill into the mud, and its head is totally submerged at times.
This species was long regarded as showing no noticeable geographic variation until measurements of birds breeding in Alaska showed these populations to have shorter wings and legs than Great Plains godwits.
A group of godwits are collectively known as an "omniscience", "pantheon", and "prayer" of godwits.
The Marbled Godwit has a large range, estimated globally at 1,100,000 square kilometers. Native to the Americas and nearby island nations, this bird prefers grassland, wetland, and marine ecosystems. The global population of this bird is estimated at 140,000 to 210,000 individuals and does not show signs of decline that would necessitate inclusion on the IUCN Red List. For this reason, the current evaluation status of the Marbled Godwit is Least Concern.