- Limosa limosa
36–44 cm (14-17¼ in)
Straight, flesh-coloured bill with dark tip
Summer Adult Cinnamon-pink head, neck and breast. Brown, streaked black, upperparts. White wing-bar and dark wing tips. The white tail has a black bar at the tip. Belly white, marked with black.
Winter Adult The pink parts become greyish, upperparts greyer and the belly loses the streaks.
Bar-tailed Godwit whose bill has a slightly upcurved tip and narrowly barred tail (see comparison image). Hudsonian Godwit of the Americas can be distinguished in all plumages by its underwing patterns, white in Black-tailed and mostly dark in Hudsonian. Also the bill is straight on Black-tailed, not noticeably upturned as in Hudsonian. Black-tailed has a broader, longer white wing stripe and broader white tail band (Hudsonian has less white in its tail).
Breeds in northern Palearctic; winters to southern Africa, southern Asia and Australia.
Four subspecies are recognized.
- L. l. islandica: Smaller, darker, with more extensive red on belly in Spring.
- breeds Iceland, Faroe Islands and Shetland Islands; winters to south-western Europe
- L. l. limosa: Larger, paler.
- breeds western Palearctic; winters to sub-Saharan Africa and India
- L. l. melanuroides: Similar to L. l. islandica, but decidedly smaller.
- breeds in disjunct populations in Siberia east of the Yenisei River, in eastern Mongolia, and in northeastern China (populations in northeastern Siberia probably are bohaii); winters from India, Indochina, Taiwan and Philippines south to Indonesia, New Guinea, Melanesia, Australia and probably New Zealand
- L. l. bohaii:
Breeds on temperate freshwater wetlands with open grassland.
Winters on estuaries, mudflats and sandy shores. Also freshwater margins.
Fast and energetic. Outline cross-like
The diet includes insects, worms, snails, insects, crustaceans, and parts of aquatic plants.
They nest on the ground, usually in short vegetation, laying 3-6 eggs.
Flight Call: "wicka-wicka-wicka"
- Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
- Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2022. IOC World Bird List (v 12.2) DRAFT. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.12.2. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
- BirdLife International. 2017. Limosa limosa (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T22693150A111611637. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22693150A111611637.en. Downloaded on 04 October 2018.
- Brazil, M. (2009) Birds of East Asia. Princeton Univ. Press.
- Chandler, R. (2009). Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia: A photographic guide. Princeton.
- Engelmoer, M. & Roselaar, C. S. (1998): Geographical Variation in Waders. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Dordrecht.
- Höglund, J., Johansson, T., Beintema, A. & Schekkerman, H. (2009) Phylogeography of the Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa: substructuring revealed by mtDNA control region sequences. J. Orn. 150(1): 45-53.
- Rasmussen & Anderton. 2012. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Lynx Edicions
- Roselaar, C.S.; Gerritsen, Gerrit J. (1991). "Recognition of Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit and its occurrence in the Netherlands" (PDF). Dutch Birding. 13 (4): 128–135.
- Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P., Christie, D.A., Garcia, E.F.J. & Boesman, P. (2018). Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/53888 on 4 October 2018).
- Collins Pocket Guide to British Birds 1966
- Collins Field Guide 5th Edition
- BirdForum Opus contributors. (2023) Black-tailed Godwit. In: BirdForum, the forum for wild birds and birding. Retrieved 31 May 2023 from https://www.birdforum.net/opus/Black-tailed_Godwit
GSearch checked for 2020 platform.