Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shorebirds: Godwits

Godwits are a group of large, long-billed, long-legged shorebirds that make short rest stops in Singapore. They are different from the curlews, which have down turned bills. Godwits have straight or slightly upturned bills. Here we don't get flocks but individuals that are mixed in with the general population of shorebirds. Their drab winter plumage also makes the birds difficult to differentiate. s are fairly drab.
This season we were lucky to have the two species found in Asia stop by Singapore. The Black-tailed Godwit, which is classified as near threatened. These birds are found in Europe and Central Asia. The ones we see are on their migration to their wintering grounds in Australia.
Black-tailed Godwit
Then there the more common Bar-tailed Godwit, which hold the record for the longest non-stop flight of any migratory bird. This bird can fly 11,680 kilometres without stopping to rest or feed. Just our good luck that several individuals did stop to rest and feed before they took off again.Like the Black-tailed, they winter in Australia as well as New Zealand.
Bar-tailed Godwit

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