[texbirds] Marbled Godwit spectacular fight and more Quintana birds

  • From: MBB22222@xxxxxxx
  • To: texbirds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2012 14:00:29 -0400 (EDT)

When visiting Quintana last weekend two Marbled Godwits fought two  
battles.  BNA species account note that contact fights are seldom observed.  I 
never saw one before. On Internet I only found handful of photos showing close  
combat.  Both encounters lasted about 15 - 20 seconds so I took a lot of  
photos -  as every frame is interesting I had problem with selection to  
process. Here are a few examples:

Fights were more like wrestling matches when fighting birds tried to grab  
and hold  opponent neck or wing and were pushing each other when holding  
the grip. There was no, at all, any jabs like described in literature. Tip of  
the godwit bill is thought to be sensitive (some described it even as 
extremely  or supersensitive) so perhaps birds were avoiding jabs. And perhaps 
when  watching fights from distance one can think godwits are jabbing at each 
other  but in fact they just might try to grab opponents. And here are 
examples of a  few interesting upper mandible movements during fights.

Quinta during last month or so have fantastic selection of birds;  
congregating mostly at river mouth area. Quality and on some days quantity as  
On some days I watched armies of plovers (incredible sighting) like  Wilson’
s and sandpipers (Western) marching along the shore. All other expected  
species are there, sometimes in large numbers (Piping, Snowy; 3 banded   
Piping so far); 7-8 terns etc. Occasionally birds like Baird’s Sandpiper,  
juvenile Wilson’s Phalarope and  Red Knot were visiting. On every visit for  
one month Lesser Black-backed Gulls were always there; usually 2-4, on some  
days 6-8.  

As for other reason I uploaded these photos a few days ago, here,  always a 
treat, FOS for me a juvenile Black Tern

Mark B Bartosik
Houston, Texas

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