Monogamous West Norfolk bird wins a second partner

Black-tailed godwit male seen with two female partners for the first time at WWT Welney. Image of bl

Black-tailed godwit male seen with two female partners for the first time at WWT Welney. Image of black-tailed godwit. - Credit: Archant

Staff monitoring the behaviour of the birdlife in the Fens have spotted a particularly amorous individual residing in the washes.

Black-tailed godwit male seen with two female partners for the first time at WWT Welney. Image of fe

Black-tailed godwit male seen with two female partners for the first time at WWT Welney. Image of female black-tailed godwit. - Credit: Archant

Black-tailed godwits are usually monogamous birds, but one particular male has surprised researchers with an unusual trait – he has managed to win the affections of two female partners.

It is the first time the behaviour has been noticed at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust's Welney Wetland Centre near Downham Market.

Experts claim the male in question could be trying the tactic this summer as the numbers of black-tailed godwits breeding in the UK are at precarious levels.

And the approach seems to be working. Between the three of them, they have successfully produced chicks – although exactly how many, and by whom, is not clear.


You may also want to watch:


Louise Clewley, warden at WWT Welney, said: 'It's been a really exciting time for me as this is the first time I have seen godwit chicks and I am now anxiously awaiting the day that they fledge. If we get to that stage with this generation we will have added to the UK population by 18pc, which is incredibly important for the future of this species.'

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter