Our black-tailed godwit webcam was set up by staff at WWT’s conservation breeding unit to give you a brilliant view of our breeding black-tailed godwits at WWT Slimbridge.
Black-tailed godwits are beautiful wading birds, but they are now Red Listed in the UK (BoCC4), which is why they're one of the wetland species we’re helping in the wild. We also have a small population in captivity and, in spring 2020, we placed a nest cam near two of our breeding birds to capture all the action as they hatched and reared their chicks.
The birds have now successfully bred and are no longer always visible on the camera, but you can watch a compilation of the best bits with commentary from Senior Conservation Breeding Officer Tanya Grigg below.
Managing these birds in captivity helps us develop some of the techniques we use to boost productivity (breeding success) in the wild. As part of Project Godwit, we are using a range of methods to help black-tailed godwits that breed at the Nene and Ouse Washes in East Anglia, including headstarting.
Headstarting involves protecting chicks until they are capable of flight and are much less vulnerable to predators and flooding. We released 112 fledglings at the Nene and Ouse Washes from 2017-2019 and the wild breeding population has grown in size. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our plans for 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.