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.



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


The scapular samples above were taken from this shot:


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.



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