Bar-tailed Godwit

Scientific Name: Limosa lapponica

Malay Name: Kedidi-Raja Ekor Belang

Chinese Name: 斑尾塍鹬

Range: Breeds in northern Palearctic, Alaska. Winters along the coast of Africa, Europe, Asia and Australasia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: lapponica, taymyrensis, menzbieri, baueri.

Size: 37-41 cm

Identification: A fairly large wader with long blackish legs, rather long neck, a long, tapering, slightly upturned bi-coloured bill: pink at the base and black towards the tip. Breeding plumage is dark brick-red below (male) or chestnut to cinnamon (female); nonbreeding plumage is overall gray-brown with white belly. In flight shows rather plain upperwings with only a faint whitish wing stripe. White tail with blackish bars separate it from the Black-tailed Godwit.

Similar looking species: Asian Dowitcher, Black-tailed Godwit

Habitat: Mudflats, sandflats, beaches and brackish coastal lagoons. 

Behaviour/Ecology:  Feeds on open mud, sand and in shallower water by probing its long bill into the mud.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2017)

Location: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Mandai Mudflat, Chek Jawa at Pulau Ubin.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Mar 12-Mar 18
Early date 06 Jul 1996
Late date 26 May 2019
Recorded every winter in the single digits at Chek Jawa, and sometimes a few turn up at other shorebird sites such as Seletar Dam and Sungei Buloh.


BirdLife International. (2017). Limosa lapponica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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