Marbled Godwit

Limosa fedoa




Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:

Green to olive lightly marked with brown.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 5

Incubation Days:

21 - 23

Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In grassy prairie.

Nest Material:

Lined with dry grass.





Marbled Godwit: A large sandpiper with dark brown upperparts that are black-marked and lightly barred; chestnut-brown underparts. Pale brown underwings are visible in flight.  Bill is pink with black tip, long, and slightly upcurved. Legs are long and covered in blue-gray hair. Female is larger than male, more dull and more sparsely barred, sometimes with longer bill. Winter adult has grayer underparts. Juvenile is similar to winter adult but with buff fringes to upperparts; underparts cinnamon-buff with only a little streaking.

Range and Habitat

Marbled Godwit: Breeds in the northern central plains from Alberta to Minnesota. Spends winters on the coast from California and Virginia southward and along the Gulf coast. During breeding season it can found on grassy plains; during migration, it visits salt marshes, tidal creeks, mudflats, and sea beaches.

Breeding and Nesting

Marbled Godwit: These sandpipers are monogamous and breed between May and August. Three to five green to olive eggs lightly marked with brown are laid in a slight ground depression lined with grass. Incubation ranges from 21 to 23 days and is carried out by both parents. Fledging occurs 21 days after hatching.

Foraging and Feeding

Marbled Godwit: These godwits feed primarily by probing the substrate, but have been known to glean insects from the water surface or terrestrial habitats and catch small fish from shallow water. They eat worms, mollusks, crustaceans and insects. They forage by probing on mudflats and in shallow water; they also chase insects in shoreline vegetation.


Marbled Godwit: Makes a loud "kerreck" or "god-wit."

Similar Species

Marbled Godwit: Long-billed Curlew has a thinner, longer, decurved bill.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X