The Hudsonian Godwit (Limosa haemastica) is a long-distance migrant shorebird that breeds in the tundra and wetlands of northern Canada and Alaska, and spends its non-breeding season in southern South America. This medium-sized bird measures approximately 16 to 18 inches (40 to 46 cm) in length, with a wingspan of 28 to 32 inches (71 to 81 cm) and weighs between 10.6 to 16.9 ounces (300 to 480 grams).
The Hudsonian Godwit is easily distinguished from other shorebirds by its long, slightly upturned bill which measures about 2.5 to 3.5 inches (6.4 to 8.9 cm) in length, and its cinnamon-brown underparts. During breeding season, males exhibit a striking rufous-red coloration on their head, neck, and breast, while females have a more subdued brownish-gray plumage. Outside of the breeding season, both sexes have a more uniform brownish-gray coloration on their upperparts.
This species is known for its impressive migration, with some individuals traveling up to 9,000 miles (14,500 km) each way between their breeding and non-breeding grounds. Hudsonian Godwits typically depart their breeding grounds in August and September, and arrive in southern South America in November and December. They return to their breeding grounds in May and June, flying across the Caribbean, Central America, and North America.
The Hudsonian Godwit is typically found in wetland habitats, including marshes, bogs, and shallow ponds, where they feed on invertebrates such as insects, crustaceans, and mollusks. They use their long bills to probe into the mud or sand to extract their prey. During migration, they can also be found on coastal mudflats and sandy beaches.
Unfortunately, the Hudsonian Godwit is currently facing a number of threats, including habitat loss and degradation, climate change, and disturbance by humans and predators. Conservation efforts are underway to protect this species, including the designation of Important Bird Areas and the development of management plans to protect breeding and migratory habitats.