© Donna Dewhurst, USFWS

Marbled Godwit

Marbled Godwit
Limosa fedoa
Sandpiper-like Birds | Family: Sandpipers, Scolopacidae

An estimated 13% of the species' North American population breeds within the Boreal Forest.



In spring on the Great Plains, the aerial displays and noisy calls of Marbled Godwits are conspicuous. Males chase one another and perform figure-eight flights. The birds nest in loose colonies, and while the eggs are incubated by the female alone, both parents guard the young birds as they feed. Like the Long-billed Curlew, it is a rich buff color, blending perfectly with the brown grass of the plains.


18" (46 cm). A crow-sized shorebird, dark and mottled above, cinnamon-buff below, with cinnamon wing linings and long, pinkish, upturned bill.


A loud kerreck or god-wit, usually heard on breeding grounds.


4 olive-buff eggs, blotched with brown, in a slight depression lined with grass on the ground.


Breeds on grassy plains; visits salt marshes, tidal creeks, mudflats, and sea beaches on migration.


Breeds on the central plains from Saskatchewan to Minnesota. Winters on coasts from California and Virginia southward and along Gulf Coast.