Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa   [Linnaeus, 1758]

Jump to: Other Names Trends & Distribution Breeding & Survival Biometrics Books & Links

For details point at or click the button; for sources point at the button

Order: Charadriiformes Family: Scolopacidae
BTO Codes: BW, BLTGO EURING No: 5320
Number in Britain: 100 Pairs (Summer)
Conservation Status:
European: 2 Concern, most in Europe; Vulnerable
Global: Near Threatened (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: limosa (B), islandica (BW) recorded in Britain (of 3 subsp. in the world)
Length: 42 cm Wingspan: 76 cm Weight: M: 280 g   F: 340 g    
Scientific name from: L.: limus=mud
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Europe & n Asia, WINTERS: w&s Europe, s Asia south to s Africa & Australia
Habitat: Marshy grassland & steppe, on migration mudflats
Diet: Invertebrates, also some plant material, located by touch and sight
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: No distribution maps available
British Population Size:
    Summer: 100 Pairs in
    Winter: 43 thousand individuals in 2004/05 - 2008/09
    Passage: 12000 individuals
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    First Breeding Record: East Anglia (after extinct 1885) 1952
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: RED because Historical Population Decline,
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 RED     1996-2001 RED  
   Races of Concern: limosa RED (Historical Decline), islandica AMBER (Rare or Localised)
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 86 to 110 thousand pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I), WBD(II*), Bern(III), Bonn(II), AEWA, NERC (41)
Survey Results: Results from Operation Godwit

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 55 x 37 mm Egg Weight: 39.0 g (of which 6 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 2
Clutch Size: 4 eggs
Incubation: 22- 24 days   by the: Male + Female
Fledging: 25 - 30days as: Precocial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Does not breed in Britain, or too few Nest Records
Number of Broods: 1
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.940 ▒ 0.020       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 2 years Typical Lifespan: 18 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 23 years 3 months 21 days (set in 2001)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: E or D2 (pulli E)
Wing Length Adult: 215.6 ▒ 8.4 Range 201 - 231 mm, N =59
Juvenile: 215.4 ▒ 10.8 202 - 229 mm, N =78
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
Weight Adult: 298.5 ▒ 39.67 Range 240.0 - 360.0 g , N =48
Juvenile: 282.3 ▒ 36.85 218.0 - 345.0 g , N =59
Male: Insufficient Data
Female: Insufficient Data
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Cearra-ghob Welsh: Rhostog Gynffonddu
Danish: Stor kobbersneppe Dutch: Grutto
Finnish: Mustapyrst÷kuiri French: Barge Ó queue noire
German: Uferschnepfe Hungarian: Nagy goda
Icelandic: Ja­rakan Irish: Guilbneach Earrdhubh
Italian: Pittima reale Norwegian: Svarthalespove
Polish: Rycyk Portuguese: Mašarico-de-bico-direito
Spanish: Aguja colinegra Swedish: R÷dspov
Local Names: Blackwit, Red Godwit

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
No books written recently
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides