HUDSONIAN GODWIT(Limosa haemastica) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The Hudsonian Godwit is a shorebird with mottled medium brown top parts. The head has a dark cap and the tail is black. The under parts are cinnamon during breeding season, and light grey in non-breeding plumage. The long, thin pinkish bill is slightly curved upwards and has a dark tip. The legs are dark. Sexes are similar. It is a fairly large bird with a length of approximately 38 cm (15 inches).
NAME: The English name ‘Godwit’ might be an onomatopoeia for the bird’s call. The English name ‘Hudsonian’ stems from the fact that the first individual was identified in the Hudson Bay area. The Latin genus name ‘Limosa’ means ‘mud’, in reference to the bird habitat. As for the Latin species name ‘haemastica’, it means ‘blood red’, in reference to the breast breeding plumage.
HABITAT: Mudflats and marshes and flooded fields.
DIET: Insects and crustaceans – these birds have a specialized bill to forage in the mud.
NESTING: The nest is placed on the ground in a well-sheltered location near a marsh. An average of four green eggs are laid, which are incubated by both parents. Both parents care for the chicks.
DISTRIBUTION: This bird is a North American species. Its breeding range is scattered across a vast area across the Arctic. Its wintering range is in the southern part of South America. Some individuals have been able to reach Hawaii, even New Zealand (see reference below). (See note below on bird vagrancy.)
ON PEI: The Hudsonian godwit is fairly common on Prince Edward Island in the summer and the fall during its migration.
CONSERVATION: The population of this bird is small and declining but it is not listed at risk because not enough is known about it.
NOTES: The Hudsonian godwit is part of the Sandpiper family. It is not well known due to the remoteness of its breeding and wintering ranges.
Vagrancy: In biology this means an animal going way outside its normal range. For birds, this can happen when there are storms and they get blown off course. On other times, the bird simply wanders in a different direction than usual. Here’s an article about vagrancy in birds.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Black-tailed Godwit, Marbled Godwit

Hudsonian Godwit, Macarico de bico virado, Brazil ,Feb.-2011 © Claudio Dias Timm
Hudsonian Godwit, by Claudio-Dias-Timm