Bar-tailed Godwit
Limosa lapponica

>> GENERAL >>>>>

– large wader, pigeon-sized, smaller than Eurasian Curlew
– nocturnal/diurnal migrant
– migrates singly or (more regularly) in small to medium-sized flocks
– sometimes mixed with other larger waders

>> VISUAL ID >>>>>


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica ssp., 1CY
BIF3051, 21/09/2018, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– very long and slender wings
– no obvious upperwing markings, primary coverts are the darkest part
– bill of 1CY often shorter (still growing)


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, 1CY
BIF3052, 09/10/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– white wedge on the lower back
– at great distance or when bill not visable very similar to Numenius spp. but note all dark remiges


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, 2CY
BIF3053, 22/04/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– contrasty face pattern with dark eye-mask and pale supercilium


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, 2CY
BIF3054, 22/04/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– similar to AD NBREED but upperside pale fringed dark feathers
– comparatively short legs which only slightly protrude the tail
– long, slightly upcurved, bicoloured pale pink and black bill (usually more than half of the bill black tipped → Black-tailed Godwit)


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, 2CY
BIF3055, 22/04/2018, Helgoland, Germany, Roland Neumann
– from below very similar to Whimbrel
– underwing largely white with only indistinct brown barring


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, M AD
BIF3077, 20/08/2014, Prerow, Germany, Kai Bratke
– compared to Black-tailed Godwit the underwing lacks the black leading and trailing edge and the coverts are barred
– in AD M the pale underwing is strongly contrasting to the dark rusty red body


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, M AD
BIF3056, 15/07/2015, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze
– white wedge on the lower back in all plumages
– uniform upperwing without wingbar


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, M AD
BIF3057, 15/07/2015, Rügen, Germany, Mathias Putze


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, M AD
BIF3058, 19/08/2018, North Sea, offshore, Roland Neumann


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica ssp., 1CY
Sanderling Calidris a. alba, 1CY
Ruff Calidris pugnax, 1CY M
Dunlin Calidris alpina ssp., 1CY
Common Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula ssp., AD, 1CY
Little Stint Calidris minuta, 1CY
BIF1977, 21/09/2016, Besh Barmag, Azerbaijan, Michael Heiß
– larger than most shorebirds


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, M F AD
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, AD
BIF3059, 15/08/2018, Dierhagen, Germany, Roland Neumann
– migrants at dawn
– AD F appear less contrasty from below


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, M F AD
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, AD
BIF3060, 15/08/2018, Dierhagen, Germany, Roland Neumann
– migrants at dawn

>> ACOUSTIC ID >>>>>

– during migration a somewhat variable, monotone double-syllable call
– both elements are similar overslurs
– elements between 0,08-0,1s in length, with the first tends to be longer
– a bit similar to Red Knot flight call, but shorter elements and gap between them
– squeaky, a bit toy-like timbre reminding of Black-tailed Godwit due to similar inharmonic partials, but at a higher frequency band


– detail –

– overview –
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, flight calls during migration
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, flight calls during migration
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis, calls during migration
European Blackbird Turdus merula, calls during migration
BIF3047, 11/03/2018, North Sea, offshore, Patrick Franke


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, flight calls during migration
Dunlin Calidris alpina, calls in flight
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis, calls during migration
European Blackbird Turdus merula, calls during migration
BIF3048, 11/03/2018, North Sea, offshore, Patrick Franke


Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, calls in flight
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola, flight calls during migration
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis, calls during migration
European Blackbird Turdus merula, calls during migration
BIF3049, 11/03/2018, North Sea, offshore, Patrick Franke


– detail –

– overview –
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, flight calls during migration
Dunlin Calidris alpina, calls during migration
Eurasian Skylark Alauda arvensis, calls during migration
European Blackbird Turdus merula, calls during migration
BIF3047, 11/03/2018, North Sea, offshore, Patrick Franke


– detail –

– overview –
Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa l. lapponica, flight calls during migration
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, calls during migration
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos, calls during migration
BIF3061, 16/04/2016, North Sea, offshore, Roland Neumann

>> COMPARISON SPECIES >>>>>

Black-tailed Godwit (v)(a)
Eurasian Whimbrel (v)
Eurasian Curlew (v)
Red Knot (a)

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