View Full Version : Territorial fight of Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 07:54 PM
Through my experience with birds in the last few years I have come to know that the waders are more territorial than the others. Almost all waders maintain and try to defend their own territories in the water bodies and its surrounding areas. This they do for two reasons.

1. To ensure that their breeding grounds are out of danger.
2. To ascertain that their feeding areas are safe and secure.

The territorial fight of the bird which i am going to try to write something on here does not breed in this country. Its name is Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa). On some previous occasion I wrote something about this bird in this section. http://www.indiawilds.com/forums/showthread.php?16903.][/url] As these birds breeds out of this country I have not been lucky enough to witness the fight to uphold their own breeding territories. But I saw one such territorial fight of the Black-tailed Godwits for defending their territories; that was a real thrilling one!

Why do they fight for the feeding ground after all? One obvious answer to this question is that more than one birds feed on the same food and many such birds search for their food in the same area. Every bird tries to maintain its predominance within its feeding ground and tries to fend off others who forage on the same food and in the same area. For this they fight with some other species as well when their list of food coincides. But I have not seen Black-tailed Godwits to fight with other species that much, they are mostly seen to fight with themselves only.

Here, when we see the pictures, one may ask whether the fight was really for the feeding ground or was out of attraction to a possible partner of the opposite sex. So far as I know the Black-tailed Godwits do not adhere to their previous or new partners when they migrate in the non-breeding seasons. They fight for their partner in their homeland only in the breeding season. In spite of all these we must admit that we are unaware of many more things of the world of birds.

In the first picture two birds are trying to show their territorial display; before they start fighting with each other. Unfortunately, I did not see the their fighting actions from the very beginning. And so, I cannot say which one entered which one’s territory.

Here I guess that the bird on the right side is either juvenile or a sub-species Limosa [I]limosa melanuroides. The difference between the plumage of the two birds is clearly visible. I would be thankful if someone throws some light on this.

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 07:57 PM
The main weapons of the battle are their long legs and the beaks.

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:14 PM
The fight was started just at the junction of reed bed and wetland. The prey base is much more at the junctions compared to the reed beds or the water. Hence the junctions are often the starting point of the fight to gain the sole right over this place.

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:20 PM
The left one was determined to push him out of that junction towards the reed bed.

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:22 PM
The wright one was rather defensive than attacking..

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:25 PM
Both of them were trying to pull out each others feathers..

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:29 PM
The left one then delivered a massive stroke on the others head with its strong beak.

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:31 PM
The fight continued..

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:32 PM
The fight continued..

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:33 PM
The right one lost its position..

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:36 PM
The battle ultimately ends inside the reed beds resulting in the defeat of the right one

Samrat Sarkar
24-02-2016, 08:38 PM
Ultimately the defeated one was forced to leave the battle ground..

Dheerendra Singh
27-02-2016, 04:47 PM
बेहद खूबसूरत चित्र कैद किए है सम्राट भाई । एक से बढकर एक ,मुझे हमेशा इन्तजार रहता है कि कुछ नया देखने को मिलेगा ।पानी की उछलती बून्दों को देखकर अनुमान लगाया जा सकता है कि मुकाबला बहुत रोमांचक रहा होगा।Thanks for sharing.

Mrudul Godbole
29-02-2016, 12:16 PM
Nice natural history moments captured. Good photographs. Thanks for sharing.

For people who wont be able to read Hindi, what Dheerendra posted is "Very beautiful images captured by Samrat Bhai. one image better than the other, I am always waiting to see posts from you as I know I will be able to see something new. Looking at the flying water drops it can be said that the fight might be very interesting to watch. Thanks for sharing."

Dheerendra, not all people will be able to read Hindi, and as this is an English only forum, please post your comments in English. Thanks.

Dheerendra Singh
29-02-2016, 12:59 PM
Sorry ....everyone. I will remember.

Vipin Sharma
07-03-2016, 04:07 PM
I loved the full series , its good that you all got them in sharp focus.
Would have been good If EXIF is provided with each image.

Samrat Sarkar
07-03-2016, 05:47 PM
Thanks a lot Dheerendra bhai, Mrudulji and Vipin ji...

Here is the EXIF info

Image 1 – ISO 800, f6.3, 1/2000, EC -0.7 steps
Image 2 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1600, EC -0.7 steps
Image 3 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1600, EC -0.7 steps
Image 4 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1250, EC -0.7 steps
Image 5 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1250, EC -0.7 steps
Image 6 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1250, EC -0.7 steps
Image 7 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1250, EC -0.7 steps
Image 8 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1250, EC -0.7 steps
Image 9 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1250, EC -0.7 steps
Image 10 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1250, EC -0.7 steps
Image 11 - ISO 800, f6.3, 1/1250, EC -0.7 steps
Image 12 - ISO 320, f7.1, 1/1000, EC -0.3 steps