Wednesday 27 February 2013

Wader Quest species seen nº 4: Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

1st November 2012. Titchwell RSPB reserve, Norfolk England. (Also seen: Thailand.)

Two birds way out on the fresh marsh, both in winter plumage.

Three subspecies of this widespread godwit are recognised. L. l. limosa breeds through western and central europe through to Russia; L. l. islandica breeds on Iceland, the Faeroes and northern Scottish Islands and winters in Ireland, the UK, and down to Iberia.
The third subspecies L. l. melanuroides breeds in Russia, Mongolia and China. Non breeding populations can be found in India, south-east Asia down to Australia.

In the UK we will probably have seen L. l. islandica.
In Thailand we would have seen L. l. melanuroides.

Birdlife consider Black-tailed Godwit to be Near Threatened despite it being widespread with a large global population as its numbers have declined rapidly in some of its range due to changes in agricultural practices.The global population is estimated to be between 634K and 805K individuals. The population is estimated to have declined between 14% and 33% over three generations (15 years)

The main threats to this species are: habitat loss such as wetland drainage and agricultural intensification; also land abandonment; they are also shot for sport in France (temporary ban in place) and also for food in Africa; loss of habitat on flyways.

Birdlife International (2013) Species factsheet: Limosa limosa. Downloaded from on 29/01/2013.

This was one of the actual birds we saw on 1st November.

Titchwell RSPB England

Titchwell RSPB England

Titchwell RSPB England

Titchwell RSPB England

Titchwell RSPB England

For more information on Black-tailed Godwit see:

Birdlife International species factsheet:


Internet Bird Collection:

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