Limosa Haemastica – Hudsonian Godwit

Limosa Haemastica - Hudsonian Godwit found in the US

The Hudsonian godwit (Limosa haemastica) is a big shorebird that belongs to the Scolopacidae family of sandpipers. Limosa is derived from the Latin word limus, which meaning “mud.” The term haemastica originates in Ancient Greek and meaning “bloody.” This bird was known as the red-breasted godwit in the 18th century.

Quick Overview: Limosa Haemastica – Hudsonian Godwit
Body size: Around 14-16 in (36-41 cm) and a weight of 221 g (7.8 oz)
Main colors: White, Brown, Black, Pink, Blue-Gray
Range: Central United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: March, April, May
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Hudsonian godwit Description

Large sandpiper with white-scaled brown-black upperparts and chestnut-brown underparts that are black-barred. Bill is long and somewhat upcurved, pink with a black tip. White rump, white wing bar, and noticeable black underwings in flight. Blue-gray legs and feet.

Limosa Haemastica - Hudsonian Godwit found in the US
Limosa Haemastica – Hudsonian Godwit. Source: Wikipedia


These birds have a length of 14-16 in (36-41 cm) and a weight of 221 g (7.8 oz). Their wings could range from 26-28 in (66-71 cm).


These birds forage in shallow water by probing. They are mostly insect and crustacean predators.


Hudsonian Godwits spend their winters primarily on tidal mudflats along Argentina’s and Chile’s coasts. Some winter further north, in Brazil and Uruguay, where they feed in brackish and freshwater lagoons, swamps, stream edges, and wet grasslands.


Eats insects primarily, but also crabs, mollusks, and marine worms. Three to four olive buff to olive-brown eggs are placed in a shallow ground hollow surrounded with dead leaves and young grass and concealed beneath marsh grass or a bush.

Limosa Haemastica Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Charadriiformes
  • Family: Scolopacidae
  • Genus: Limosa
  • Species: Limosa haemastica

Best time of the year to see

In the United States, the best time of year to see these birds are during the Spring season (March-May).

Distribution of the Hudsonian godwit in the USA

In northern Canada and Alaska, nests in mixed tundra/wetland habitats. In the spring, it migrates north through the Great Plains and south along the Atlantic coast to South America for the winter.

The Hudsonian godwit in the USA can be found in the following states in the United States – Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.

Limosa Haemastica – Hudsonian Godwit

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