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Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Hudsonian Godwit -- Limosa haemastica

RANGE: Breeds locally in south-coastal and western Alaska, Mackenzie, northwestern British Columbia, and around Hudson Bay. Winters in South America.

STATUS: Locally common.

HABITAT: Inhabits wet bogs and marshes in open expanses along the northern edge of boreal forests and moist tundra, near tidal or fluvial shorelines. In other seasons, frequents fresh, brackish, and salt waters, on beaches, mudflats, marshes, flooded fields, and shallow ponds.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Extensive sedge marshes and meadows near tidal flats.

NEST: Nests in a depression on top of a hummock in a sedge marsh or meadow with water up to several inches deep. Frequently locates nest under a dwarf birch, occasionally on a sedge or grass tussock, under or among small willows, or near a fallen spruce tree, but usually where the vegetation is at least 5 to 6 inches high and thick enough to conceal the nest from the sides.

FOOD: Feeds on marine worms, horseflies, mosquitoes, and other insects, mollusks, and crustaceans. Prefers to feed in water about as deep as its bill is long.

REFERENCES: Bent 1927, Hagar 1966, Mackenzie 1977, Palmer 1967, Wilds in Farrand 1983a.

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