Sandpipers Page 3

Marbled Godwit

The Marbled Godwit reaches a height of 18 inches tall. The main coloring of the bird is brown with darker patches on the back of the bird. The bill of the Marbled Godwit is 2 different colors. The underside of the wings of the bird is a reddish color. The Marbled Godwit can be spotted living in coastal areas mainly during the winter months. The rest of the year the bird usually lives in prairies. The male and female Marbled Godwit both help build the nest. The female lays between 3 and 5 eggs into the nest. Both the male and female birds keep the eggs warm. For food, the Marbled Godwit eats insects, snails, worms, and leeches. The bird usually probes the mud with its bill, searching the area for its food. The most common time to spot a Marbled Godwit along the Outer Banks is June through September.

Ruddy Turnstone

The Ruddy Turnstone grows to be 91/2 inches tall. The Ruddy Turnstone has two different color patterns depending on the season. When it is breeding, the main coloring of the bird is black and white. In the wintertime, the main color of the bird is brown and white. The Ruddy Turnstone got its' name from the fact that it turns over stones looking for its source of food. The female bird builds the nest and will lay between 3 and 4 eggs. Both sexes take turns incubating the eggs. For food, the Ruddy Turnstone eats insects, fish, mollusks, crustaceans, worms, and they will also eat the eggs of other birds. They can also be spotted near crabbing boats eating the scraps off of the nets. The most common time to spot a Ruddy Turnstone along the Outer Banks is during the winter months.

Red Knot

The Red Knot is a medium-sized bird. Like some other species, the Red Knot has two distinctive coloring patterns. During breeding season, the main color of the bird is a rusty red. In the winter months, the bird sports a mostly gray plumage. The main habitat of the Red Knot is arctic regions. When migrating, the preferred habitat is located along rocky beaches. The Red Knot is known to travel the longest distances when migrating. They can travel as far away as 20,000 miles from their main location. During the summer months, the main sources of food for the Red Knot include grass and the larvae of insects. In the winter, they mainly feed on worms, grasshoppers, and the eggs of horseshoe crabs. The Red Knot is commonly seen along the Outer Banks during the months of July through September.


The Sanderling grows to be 8 inches tall. The main color of the bird is a rust color with white on the bird's belly. The Sanderling is one of the most commonly seen shorebirds in the state of North Carolina. In breeding season, the male Sanderling builds the nest for the female to lay her eggs in. The female usually lays 3 or 4 eggs in the nest. Both the males and females take turns incubating the eggs. On occasion, the female Sanderling will mate with more than one male. For each different mate, a separate nest is built. For food, the Sanderling eats insects. It is not uncommon to see packs of Sanderlings run into the water to look for their food source. The Sanderling is a year-round occupant of the Outer Banks.

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Terms: The Birds of the Outer Banks: Sandpipers Page 3

The Birds of the Outer Banks;Sandpipers Page 3

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