GODWIT, a word of unknown origin, the name commonly applied to a marsh-bird in great repute, when fattened, for the table, and formerly abundant in the fens of Norfolk, the Isle of Ely and Lincolnshire.
Under the name godwit two perfectly distinct species of British birds were included, but that which seems to have been especially prized is known to modern ornithologists as the black-tailed godwit, Limosa aegocephala, formerly called, from its loud cry, a yarwhelp,' shrieker or barker, in the districts it inhabited.
This godwit is a species of wide range, reaching Iceland, where it is called Jardraeka (= earthraker), in summer, and occurring numerously in India in winter.
The second British species is that which is known as the bar-tailed godwit, L.
One of the local names by which the bar-tailed godwit is known to the Norfolk gunners is scamell, a word which, in the mouth of Caliban (Tempest, 11.
The black-tailed godwit, though varying a good deal in size, is constantly larger than the bar-tailed, and especially longer in the legs.
America possesses two species of the genus, the very large marbled godwit or marlin, L.
Fedoa, easily recognized by its size and the buff colour of its axillaries, and the smaller Hudsonian godwit, L.