Whyte Weddings Photography
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)
Contributed by Rosemary Tully of Whakatane Bird Rescue.
Photos by Rosemary Tully.
Page sponsor is Whyte
Weddings Photography. Wedding Photographers at Ohope, Whakatane
and the Eastern Bay of Plenty.
year thousands of migratory birds visit New Zealand from the Northern
birds can travel up to 12,000km on their journey; the most common migrant
is the bar-tailed godwit.
Maori name: Kuaku
This bird breeds in Siberia and Alaska as well as other northern areas.
Whilst in its breeding grounds its diet changes to insects and worms.
Before the bird's migration, changes happen to its make-up the bird puts
on body fat and shrinks its internal organs so it is lighter for its journey
across the world.
On returning to New Zealand and other temperate regions of the Southern
Hemisphere in September through to October, the birds spread out to estuaries,
mudflats around the country.
The birds' diet is now worms and molluscs found in the mudflats.
photograph shows the bar-tailed godwits resting at high tide on the Ohiwa
Many godwits can be seen feeding in the Ohiwa Harbour at low tide.
On high tide the birds return to the sandbanks resting while awaiting
the low tide again. Some birds over stay the winter here instead of returning
to their breeding grounds.
Young birds and non-breeders or those down in condition are to be found
in Ohiwa harbour during winter.
Many birdwatchers visit the harbour to view migratory birds and often
other migrant birds are seen feeding with the godwits. Some birds may
be banded or have flags high up on their legs.
These flags (little coloured tags) show where the birds have been caught
during their travels.
The information can be passed on to the New Zealand Ornithological Society
© Ohope Beach.info 2003