Marbled Godwit feeding on the shore of the Gulf

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Marbled Godwits/Marbled Godwit feeding on the shore of the Gulf

A Marbled Godwit feeding on the shore of the GulfA Marbled Godwit feeding on the shore of the Gulf – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/800, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

Marbled Godwits are migrating through Utah on their way to their breeding grounds right now so I thought I’d feature this one on my post today. There are four species of Godwits that can be found in North America and the Marbled Godwit is the only species I have photographed so far.

Marbled Godwits are large shorebirds although they are not as large as Long-billed Curlews and although they are shorebirds they breed in grassy marshes of the Great Plains and a few locations in Alaska. I was fortunate that these godwits wintered on the Gulf Coast when I lived in Florida which gave me ample opportunities to photograph them often from low perspectives. They are much more difficult to approach here in Utah.

This Marbled Godwit either has a tiny Coquina (a mollusk) or a tiny Sand Crab in its bill, I can’t tell for certain what the prey is. They consume insects, crustaceans, mollusks and small fish. Marbled Godwits are long-lived shorebirds with the oldest bird having been recorded at 29 years old.

They are lovely, elegant shorebirds!

Life is good.


Image created June of 2008


  1. wendy chapman April 16, 2015 at 6:02 am

    Beautiful image Mia. I love the pastel tones and the light on the bird.

  2. Elephant's Child April 15, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Muted magic.
    Thank you.

  3. Susan Stone April 15, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Looking at the picture closely, and having spent a lot of time on the beach with both Coquinas and sand crabs, I think what’s in the bird’s beak if the former. Among other things, it’s the wrong color for the sand crabs I’m familiar with (from both east and west coasts). This is a beautiful portrait of a bird I’d love to see.

  4. Patty Chadwick April 15, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Serene….sweet,gentle bird, soft swells lapping against a white sandy beach,blue sky, lovely muted colors..and, most probably, a warm breeze….I can almost feel it…..

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