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marbled godwit

marbled godwit (Limosa fedoa)
Photo © Brian Tang

Features and Behaviors

The marbled godwit is 17 and one-half to 18 and one-half inches long (bill tip to tail tip in preserved specimen). It has brown feathers with darker markings on the back feathers. The wing-linings are cinnamon-colored. The bill is long and may be straight or upturned.

The marbled godwit is a shorebird that wades into water as deep as its belly to feed. It probes mud with its bill to find the small, aquatic invertebrates that it feeds on. It breeds in the northern United States and Canada. Wintering occurs from the southern United States to South America. Spring migrants begin arriving in Illinois in April. Fall migrants may be seen starting in July.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family: Scolopacidae

Illinois Status: common, native