Bar-tailed Godwit

This bird is a common sight throughout coastal Australia during August to April each year. 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. 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