Birds of Seabrook Island

COAST BIRDS
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ANECDOTES

  Marbled Godwit
 
 

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  Order Charadriiformes - Plovers, Sandpipers, Gulls, Terns, Auks
   Family Scolopacidae - "Sandpipers"
      Tribe Limosini - Godwits

  Charadriiforms are a diverse group of shore and aquatic or wading or terrestrial birds. They include the sandgrouse, shore birds, gulls and terns, and alcids. The majority breed in the Northern Hemisphere.
   The Tree of Life includes shorebirds with the Ciconiiformes.
Sandpipers are a diverse group of shorebirds with bills not swollen at the tip. Most live in association with water. Short-billed forms feed on the surface using vision. Long-billed forms probe in mud and their prey is located by touch or smell. Tides influence their feeding cycles.   
Godwits are large wading shorebirds with long legs and long upcurved bills. They often feed in deeper water than Willets or other waders. They feed by probing and stitching while standing in water or along the edge.
     
     
  Marbled Godwit, Limosa fedoa
 
Cornell     USGS     Wiki     ToL     EoL
        YEAR ROUND - Unommon (especially fall) / Fairly common (small numbers)
            LAGOON, ESTUARY, MUD FLATS (coastal)
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   The Marbled Godwit is a large brown to buffy shorebird with some barring on the back (and sides during breeding). They have a long, upturned bill. The bill has a dark tip and is red-orange for its basal two-thirds. In flight adults show a cinnamon under-wing and a plain rump.  They are often found feeding in deeper water than most other shorebirds and are often soliltary or with 2-3 others at most..
Marbled Godwit
     
Marbled Godwit. Lagoon - North Beach
   
  RANGE: The Marbled Godwit breeds in the lower southern plains of central Canada and is common along our shores during migration and in winter. They winter on both coasts, the Gulf and the shores of Mexico, south through Middle America.
  BREEDING: Monogamous. ? broods. The nest is a scrape in a dry spot (on a hummock) on short grass prairie wetland. It may be lined with dry grass and sometimes has a woven grass roof. Females lay 4 (3-4) eggs which are incubated for 21-25 days by both parents. Young are precocial and chicks leave the nest after hatching. Both parents care for the chicks. They are able to fly after 21 days.
   They may be loosely colonial.
  DIET: They feed on beaches (runnels), mud-flats, and in shallow pools, walking and probing with their long bills., usually in mid-thigh water. They may get in water deep enough that their head is underwater some of the time. They usually stay about 2 feet apart while feeding. They eat mollusks, snails, crustaceans, worms - catching their prey by feel. They may also feed at night. On the breeding grounds, their principal diet is insects.
  VOICE: The have a flight call that is reminiscent of the Laughing Gull but I am not familiar with it - godwits are usually seen feeding/foraging, not flying.
  NOTES:
   Checklists -
      Seabrook. Kiawah - uncommon year round.
      Coastal - fairly common winter visitor. Hilton Head - common winter visitor. Cape Romain - uncommon/absent/uncommon/uncommon.         Huntington Beach - uncommon July - November.
      ACE - accidental.
   CBC: ACE Basin 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 3, 0; Charleston 2, 21, 2, 3, 1, 3, 5, 0;
            St, Helena/Fripp x, x, x, x, x, x, 25, 26; Hilton Head 6, 278, 133, 182, 137, 8, 52, 114; Sun City/Okatie 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0.
            McClellanville 2, 5, 4, 0, nc, 19, 6, 5; Winyah Bay x, x, 1, 0, 1, 6, 11, 17; Litchfield/Pawley/s 1, 0, 4, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0.
   P&G: Fairly common winter visitor, 7 Sepbember - 28 June. At least 2 mid-summer reports. Maximum, 200 Moore's Landing, 10 April 1983, 579, Awendaw, 21 February 1988.
   M&G: High count 735, Cape Romain NWR, 9 February 1989. Counts on the refuge are consistently over 500 birds, present year round.
   Avendex: 14 Records, scattered through the year.
   Potter: Fairly common migrant, They winter in good numbers around Charleston.
  ●  Fairly common. Marbled Godwits are often present in groups of 3 to 7 or so on Seabrook, feeding in the lagoon or in runnels along the beach (not in the swash zone). When scanning a group of shorebirds, look for larger birds feeding deliberately in deeper water than others (even Willets). The long, two-colored bill with its upturned tip is diagnostic. Individuals usually maintain some distance between themselves and others while feeding.
       
    Banner - Marbled Godwit. North Beach.
       
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