Bar-tailed Godwit

Bar-tailed Godwit walking along a beach.

What does it look like? A non-breeding migrant, the Bar-tailed Godwit can be identified by its large size (37 to 45cm), and long, slightly upturned bill. It is often difficult to distinguish from the similar Black-tailed Godwit, but its white underwing, barred rump, shorter bill, and lack of white wingbar should identify it when the two are compared.

Where does it live? This bird is a common sight throughout coastal Australia during August to April each year.

What are its habitats and habits? Godwits are found in large groups, busily probing the sand or mud in estuarine mudflats, beaches and mangroves for molluscs, worms and aquatic insects, and are often seen in the company of other waders. The Bar-tailed Godwit breeds each year in Scandinavia, northern Asia and Alaska, and winters in Australia, New Zealand and Africa. Although the majority of the birds will return to the breeding grounds in April, some birds may remain all year round.

Scientific name: Limosa lapponica

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store