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Marbled Godwits

The long journey north...

It's April, and godwits are on their way north. They have wintered along the coasts, including the Texas Gulf Coast, and along the Pacific from California to Washington. While most breed in the prairie provinces of Canada, some nest as far north as Alaska's Aleutian Islands. Be sure to watch the video of a Marbled Godwit and its cousin, a Bar-tailed Godwit, at YouTube.

Support comes from Sasquatch Books, announcing Every Penguin in the World, a narrative and photographic book that chronicles a couple’s quest to see every penguin species on the planet.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

Marbled Godwits Head North

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote!
 [Waves, gulls]
Here we are -- on an April day, standing at the sandy rim of a coastal bay, gazing quietly across a glistening expanse of tide flats. …But wait! What’s that startling sound overhead? [Marbled Godwits calling]
Look up! A large flock of birds. They’re the size of gulls, but a lovely tawny-brown with bright, cinnamon-colored under-wings. [Marbled Godwits calling] The flock’s dropping to the mudflat, canting down in orderly waves, shouldering together in a dense mass. [Marbled Godwits calling]
 These handsome birds have a name as unlikely as their calls. They’re known as Marbled Godwits. [Marbled Godwits calling softly in the background]
 Marbled Godwits stand a foot and a half tall, on slender, dark legs. Their exquisitely long bills are pink, tipped in black, and just slightly up-curved. Altogether, a stunning bird. [Marbled Godwits calling]
The godwits are on their way north. They’ve wintered along the coasts, including the Texas Gulf Coast and along the Pacific from California to Washington. While most will breed in the prairie provinces of Canada, some will nest in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands.
[Marbled Godwits calling]
For BirdNote, I’m Michael Stein.
###
Call of the provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Marbled Godwit flock calls [124433] recorded by T.G. Sander. Marbled Godwit calls [3169] recorded by C.A. Sutherland. Glaucous-winged Gulls [3350-2] recorded by A.A. Allen.
Ambient waves by Kessler Productions.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2005-2017 Tune In to Nature.org        April 2017 / 2020       Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# 2008-04-03-MAGO-01                     MAGO-01b

 [Godwits are large members of the sandpiper group.]

Sights & Sounds

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