BAR-TAILED GODWIT


Limosa lapponica


Description:

The Bar-tailed Godwit is a are visitor to North America, but is the most common godwit in much of the Old World. Alaska, which is one of the places this bird breeds, is the only location in the U.S. that they regularly occur.
Bar-tailed Godwits have recently been found to undertake the longest non-stop flight of any bird. Using satellite tracking, birds in New Zealand were tagged and tracked all the way to the Yellow Sea in China. The birds flew almost 7,000 miles in 9 days. Click here to read the article.
Bar-tailed Godwits feed on molluscs, worms and aquatic insects. The birds search for food by rapidly probing into the mud with their long bills.


Appearance:

General: ? inches in length.

Adult Alternate: Reddish-brown head, neck and underparts. Long, upturned, pink bill with dark tip. Black upperparts with white and reddish-brown feather edges and spots. White rump with dark, barred tail. Pale underwing. Dark legs.

Adult Basic: Gray upperparts and breast. White underparts. Long, upturned, pink bill with dark tip. Gray wing coverts with black streaks. White rump with dark, barred tail. Pale underwing. Dark legs.

Juvenile: Similar to adult basic, but has brownish wash to gray upperparts. Also, the wing coverts are boldly marked with black and white.


Habitat:

Breeds on open tundra. Winters on muddy estuaries and sandy shores.


Nesting:

2-4 olive or pale brown eggs with brown spots. The eggs have an 20-21 day incubation period. Fledging occurs in ? days. The nest is a shallow moss cup that may be lined with vegetation. Both birds share in incubation and caring for the young.


Observed Locations:

  • Famosa Slough, Point Loma, CA





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