Bar-tailed GodwitLimosa lapponica

adult male, breeding
Arthur Morris/VIREO
adult female, breeding
Jari Peltomaki/VIREO
juvenile
Jari Peltomaki/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Steve Young/VIREO
adult male, breeding
John Puschock/VIREO
Bar-tailed Godwit

Family

Description

15-18" (38-46 cm). A large slender shorebird with a long, slightly upturned bill. Breeding adult has barred chestnut underparts, mottled brown upperparts. Fall birds grayish above, whitish below. Similar to Hudsonian Godwit but larger, with barred tail, North white wing stripe, and brown wing linings with white barring.

Voice

A loud kew-wew and various other notes.

Listen

calls & song
calls

Habitat

Tundra marshes in summer; estuarine mudflats and lake edges in winter and during migration.

Range

Breeds in northwestern Alaska. Winters largely in Old World. A casual visitor to Pacific and Atlantic coasts.

Discussion

This Eurasian godwit wades in open water and probes deeply for worms and crustaceans. A rare visitor to North America, it is the most common godwit in much of the Old World.

Nesting

4 greenish eggs, with small brownish spots, in a shallow depression lined with lichens, moss, or grass.

Similar Species

adult, nonbreeding

Long-billed Dowitcher

12" (30 cm). A snipe-like, long-billed shorebird with white lower back and rump, black and white checkered tail, dark bill, green legs.

adult, breeding

Marbled Godwit

18" (46 cm). A crow-sized shorebird, dark and mottled above, cinnamon-buff below, with cinnamon wing linings and long, pinkish, upturned bill.

adult male, breeding

Hudsonian Godwit

15" (38 cm). A large slender shorebird with a long, slightly upturned bill. Breeding adult has barred chestnut underparts, mottled brown upperparts. Fall birds grayish above, whitish below.

adult male, breeding

Black-tailed Godwit

12-15" (30.5-38 cm). Similar to Hudsonian Godwit, except wing linings and wing stripe extensively white.

adult

Whimbrel

17" (43 cm). A large shorebird with a down-curved bill. Uniform brown or gray-brown above, with bold head stripes and long legs.

adult, breeding

Terek Sandpiper

10" (25.5 cm). A medium-size shorebird with a long, upturned, pale-based, dark bill; short orange-yellow legs; upperparts gray- brown, contrasting with black scapular lines.

Vireo

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