Bar-tailed Godwit at Tokeland Marina, WA (10/17/09)

On the annual trek to Tokeland for the Bar-tailed Godwit, I was not disappointed. This juvenal bird was surprisingly hard to pick out, at least for me. What helps to positively ID this bird is:

-Very limited cinnamon color on perched bird, none on tail

-White supercilium extends WAY back beyond the eye towards the back of the head. With the Marbleds, the supercilium stops at the eye.

-Apparently smaller than the Marbleds around it

-The scapulars have a different shape (Bar-tailed on the left, Marbled on the right):

BartailedScaps MarbledScaps

-Finally, in flight, no cinnamon will show underwing for the Bar-tailed, nor will there be orange tones from above.

BarTailedGodwit

BarTailedGodwit2

While not a great picture, this flight shot is diagnostic for Bar-tailed.

BarTailedGodwit3

The scapular samples above were taken from this shot:

BartailedGodwit4

This bird looks to be of the baueri subspecies which shows copious amounts of brown on the rump. This is the subspecies to be expected in the Pacific NW as it is breeding in Western AK.

There were also 12 Willets.

Willet

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Author: birdmeister

Obsessed with birding, I started taking a pictures in '01 after a brief personalized intro by the incomparable David LaPuma. In July '09, I acquired a Canon EOS 50D with a 100-400mm IS lens to be able to shoot the fast-moving lbjs that were so difficult before. In Dec '14, I upgraded my body to a Canon 7D Mark II and immediately noticed a big improvement. Nevertheless, I'm first and foremost a birder, then a photographer. Please note that all pictures on this site were taken by birdmeister (the owner of this site) except for where otherwise mentioned. All pictures on this site are copyrighted.

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