Another Bar-tailed Godwit (Tokeland, WA, 10/09/2011)

This juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit was in the godwit flock at the Tokeland Marina on 10/10/11. Note the stark difference in plumage compared to the pictures of the adult birds from last weeks posting. Again, messy plumage usually means adult; crisp, neat plumage stands for juvenile.

We often think of a bill to be the “hard part” of a shorebird. Not so. Bills are in fact quite malleable and here’s the proof. Also visible in this picture is the birds tongue. It looks like the bird possibly has just sucked in a lot of air.

Another example of this phenomenon was recently posted to OBOL (see in the context of dowitchers. While the original picture does not seem to be available any longer, Dan Gleason’s comment explains what is going on scientifically.

A single Marbled Godwit was lying down as all other birds were on their feet. This seemed somewhat unusual at the time.


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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