With its long bill curving upwards, the Hudsonian godwit (Limosa haemastica) is the smallest of the four godwit species in the world. The other godwit bird species are black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa), bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica), and marbled godwit (Limosa fedoa), all belonging to the Sandpiper family. These birds belong to Animalia kingdom, Aves class, order Charadriiformes, family Scolopacidae, and Limosa genus. These migratory birds of North America are characterized by their large size, a long bill, and long legs. Not very long ago, Hudsonian godwits were quite rare and on the verge of being endangered because of unrestricted shooting. Currently, their conservation status is classified as a species of Least Concern as they became completely protected. Hudsonian godwits are known as Aguja Café in Spanish and Barge Hudsonienne in French. During the 18th century, these birds were called red-breasted godwits and it is believed that the name 'godwit' came from the English term 'godwit' which is believed to imitate the bird's call.
These migratory North American birds have a very complex migration pattern where most of the birds migrate from North America, all the way from Canada and Alaska, to southern South America. Until recently, the migration patterns of these birds were seldom known because of their long non-stop journey across two continents. They migrate to different places all through spring and fall, before settling down for winter.
Freshwater marshes, ocean coasts, and other wetlands
North and South America
Hudsonian Godwit Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a Hudsonian godwit?
The Hudsonian godwit (Limosa haemastica) is a North American migratory bird species found across North America and South America.
What class of animal does a Hudsonian godwit belong to?
Hudsonian godwits are birds belonging to Animalia kingdom, Aves class, order Charadriiformes, family Scolopacidae, and Limosa genus.
How many Hudsonian godwits are there in the world?
According to the latest estimation by Partners in Flight, the breeding population is 77,000.
Where does a Hudsonian godwit live?
Hudsonian godwits live in wetlands.
What is a Hudsonian godwit habitat?
Hudsonian godwits are boreal shorebirds that are very commonly found in habitats like sedge meadows, tidal mudflats, hummocks, and wet grounds and meadows. The habitat is varied mainly depending on the migration pattern and breeding season of the species. According to the range map, while summers are spent in northern Canada and Alaska, Hudsonian godwits fly to North America in the spring, then all the way up the Atlantic coast during fall, before moving to southern South America for winters.
Who does Hudsonian godwit live with?
Hudsonian godwits live on their own in groups often referred to as omniscience, prayer, and pantheon.
How long does a Hudsonian godwit live?
The average generation time is estimated to be eight years, though the lifespan depends on several external factors like climate and human intervention.
How do they reproduce?
Like all other bird species, Hudsonian godwits reproduce sexually. This bird species attains maturity at the age of three and upon arrival on breeding grounds, they are ready to begin a courtship. They put on an exaggerated show to attract female mates. The females usually lay four eggs that are dark olive-brown in color with brown spots. The incubation lasts for 22-25 days and is carried out by both males and females. Soon after hatching, the downy young leave the nest in search of their own food, but both parents continue to tend to their young ones. Hatchlings as young as 30 days are ready to fly.
What is their conservation status?
The present conservation status of Hudsonian godwits is Least Concern. It is to be noted that this species was considered vulnerable during the last century. This was because of excessive human interference, mainly oil and gas development activities, and climatic changes.
Hudsonian Godwit Fun Facts
What does a Hudsonian godwit look like?
The main physical description that distinguishes a Hudsonian godwit (Limosa haemastica) from other godwit species is their slightly upturned bill. Apart from this, Hudsonian godwits are large, long-legged shorebirds with long bills that help them forage in varied habitats like mud, marshes, or bogs. Hudsonian godwits are very similar looking to marbled godwits. Their spring migration patterns are similar too. Physically, Hudsonian godwits are not very colorful as they are covered in black, brown, and gold feathers. An interesting fact to note is that females are slightly less colored than their male counterparts. A good Hudsonian godwit field guide can help you learn more about the physical description of this species.
How cute are they?
These birds are not particularly cute, but their long bill and long legs make them attractive shorebirds.
How do they communicate?
We do not know how this species of bird communicates with one another.
How big is a Hudsonian godwit?
These shorebirds measure somewhere between a robin and a crow. Both male and female adults measure between 14.2-16.5 in (36- 42 cm).
How fast can a Hudsonian godwit fly?
The speed of Hudsonian godwit's flight has not been determined, but it is recorded that during migration, they were able to fly as high as 12,140 ft (3700.2 m)
How much does a Hudsonian godwit weigh?
Hudsonian godwit adults weigh anywhere between 6.9-12.6 oz (196- 357.2 gm). The size is somewhere between that of a robin and a crow.
What are the male and female names of the species?
There is no different names for males and females of this species. If you look at the appearance, the males and females can easily be distinguished. While the males are richly colored, the females are less so. The females are larger and heavier than the males. There is also a difference in appearance between breeding and non-breeding birds of the species.
What would you call a baby Hudsonian godwit?
There is no specific name given to baby Hudsonian godwits.
What do they eat?
Hudsonian godwits are primarily carnivores. They prey on aquatic invertebrates like crabs, clams, and marine worms. They also forage food like beetles, flies, and grasshoppers in the marshes and wet mud lands, depending on what is found during spring, fall, or winter.
Are they dangerous?
No, Hudsonian godwits are not dangerous.
Would they make a good pet?
Since this is a migratory bird species, they do not make good pets and are not family birds. They thrive only in their natural habitats. Also, being strong flight birds, they are not suitable to be kept at home.
Did you know...
The bill tips of Hudsonian godwits are flexible. This helps them dig for prey in deep marshes and mudflats.
Newborn Hudsonian godwit hatchlings have the ability to swim across pools and small streams.
Due to their far north breeding grounds like northern parts of Canada and Alaska, data collection was pretty scarce until the '40s. It was only later that their migrating patterns and breeding were extensively studied.
Hudsonian godwits are also called ring-tailed marlin and goose-bird owing to their appearance.
The recorded longest-living Hudsonian godwit was six years old before it was shot in 2013 in Canada.
What was the Hudsonian godwit named in the 18th century?
Hudsonian godwits were called red-breasted godwits in the 18th century.
Where does the Hudsonian godwit migrate?
Hudsonian godwits are extremely strong migratory birds with a total migration distance averaging 10,000 mi (16,093 km). The entire population is known to fly non-stop from Alaska to southern South America without a break Most of these birds cover at least 2800 mi (4506.1 km) at a stretch during migration. Some birds stop on the Atlantic coast for energy replenishment during their migratory flights. During spring, they stop at marshes and flooded fields to restore their energy. In fall, they usually fly to the Atlantic shores before flying non-stop from Canada to South America for austral winters. The migratory pattern and breeding season determine their habitat.
Male birds start nesting in late June and are followed by the females and young birds in July and August. During August, they depart to their winter grounds in South America. Few non-breeders are also seen moving to Argentina for southern winters.
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