Marbled Godwits Cover Arcata Marsh

by Larry Jordan on October 26, 2011

Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) photos by Larry Jordan

The Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Santuary in Humboldt County on the Pacific Coast of northern California is an incredible place.  An innovative wastewater treatment facility consisting of 307 acres of ponds and marshes where over 270 bird species have been observed has got to catch your attention.

Among the over 40 species we saw on the hour bird walk before our Northern California Audubon Council meeting was the Marbled Godwit.

This large shorebird breeds in the grasslands of the northern United States and southern Canada, with small isolated nesting populations in southwestern James Bay and Alaska1.  Map courtesy of Terry Sohl at South Dakota Birds.

There were hundreds of Marbled Godwits at the marsh and in Humboldt Bay as well.  Here are a couple of the birds I saw at Arcata Marsh, hanging out with an American Avocet in the foreground and a few Greater Yellowlegs in the background.

At coastal sites they feed primarily by probing the substrate with that long beak for polychaetes, small bivalves, crabs, and earthworms1.

Here are some more shots I took of this cool shorebird strutting his stuff.

Are they cool looking or what?  For more great bird photos from around the world, you have to check out Dave Springman’s World Bird Wednesday!

References: 1Birds of North America Online

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

springman October 26, 2011 at 7:50 pm

Arcata marsh sounds like a wonderfully varied environment to shelter passing avian life. 270 species would get my attention too! There must be some marvelous mixed flocks working the shoreline. Excellent pictures of the godwits Larry.
Cheers to you Sir!


Eileen October 27, 2011 at 1:41 am

The Godwits are cool looking birds. And your photos are wonderful. Great post, Larry!


Pat October 27, 2011 at 5:29 am

Wonderful photos of these beautiful shorebirds!


Pat Ulrich October 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

I always enjoy watching marbled godwits — they’re a lovely bird with a lot of character!


Debbie October 28, 2011 at 7:36 pm

what a wonderful looking bird. you got some really awesome shots!!


Liz October 29, 2011 at 7:11 am

WOW!!! What fantastic shots!!
What a great looking bird!!
Thanks for visiting my blog.


dreamfalcon October 30, 2011 at 5:55 am

Great series, Larry. I really like the one where the underpart of the wing is visible!


Jean October 30, 2011 at 6:00 am

They are cool birds. I enjoyed watching them on the video.


aurelia October 30, 2011 at 6:26 pm

I love so much birds. I enjoyed watching them on the video


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