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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

HUDSONIAN & MARBLED GODWITS, WINDERMERE BASIN, HAMILTON, ON

   In all three photos the sandpiper on the left is a nonbreeding Marbled Godwit and the sandpiper on the right is a nonbreeding Hudsonian Godwit.  In the first photo there is a duck on both sides of the godwit pair. In the third photo there is a duck inbetween the godwit pair.  You can see in all three photos that the Marbled Godwit on the left is larger than the Hudsonian Godwit on the right.  The Marbled Godwit averages 18" long and the Hudsonian Godwit averages 15.5" long.  Both godwits generally molt from breeding to nonbreeding plumage this time of year, i.e., Sept. - Oct.
   We can I.D. the sandpiper on the left as a Marbled Godwit as follows:
  • The cinnamon color on its wing, in the first photo.
  • Very long upturned bill with black tip and pinkish base.
  • Darker mottled upperparts and paler underparts that are not mottled.
   We can I.D. the sandpiper on the right as a nonbreeding Hudsonian Godwit as follows:
  • Plain gray sandpiper, with the upperparts and breast being a darker gray than the rest of the underparts.
  • Pale eyebrow.  This is very noticeable in the first photo.
  • Long bill, slightly upturned.
  • Black tail.
   The Hudsonian Godwit is a new species to our Life List, which now stands at 313.