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Sorry to flood the inboxes with emails, but I thought those who helped Ryan and me with the ID of
our mystery shorebird might be interested in our answer.  We are convinced now that the birds we
saw were Hudsonian Godwits.  The ruddy breast on a couple of the birds (not visible in picture)
matches Hudsonian's perfectly .  The upturned bill marks it as a godwit, while the slightly smaller
size is consistent with Hudsonian's as well. After talking to one another (after receiving feedback),
we realized that the field marks on the birds were a perfect match for Hudsonian's. Ryan also
remembered what the wing linings looked like after they flew, and said it was a dead-on match.

The smaller size and the ruddy coloration had me convinced it was a dowitcher, though we never
got fantastic looks at the birds, but the evidence now seems pretty conclusive.  I'd rather be wrong
initially and get a great bird instead, even if it stings the ego a little! ;) And having an American
Avocet in a flock with 5 Hudsonian Godwits in central MO is definitely my best Missouri sighting
so far.

Thanks to those who took the time to send their tips- it is much appreciated.

Phil Wire
Kirksville, Adair County
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