Black-tailed Godwit

This species is defined as a Review Species . Please submit your records of this species via our record submission page .

Scientific Name: Limosa limosa

Malay Name: Kedidi-Raja Ekor Hitam

Chinese Name: 黑尾塍鹬

Range: Breeds in Palearctic and northern China. Winters in Africa, Asia and Australasia.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: islandica, limosa, melanuroides, bohaii.

Local Subspecies: melanuroides

Size: 36-40 cm

Identification: A fairly large wader with long blackish legs, rather long neck, long straight bi-coloured bill: pink at the base and black towards the tip. Breeding plumage has bright reddish-rufous head and breast, dark barring on belly. Non-breeding plumage has plain grayish head, breast and upperparts, unlike the streaked breast and back of the Bar-tailed Godwit. In flight shows bold white upperwing bars, white rump and black tail. 

Similar looking species: Asian Dowitcher, Bar-tailed Godwit

Habitat: Mudflats, sandflats, coastal pools, sometimes wet paddy fields.

Behaviour/Ecology: Usually found in flocks. Feeds mainly by wading in deeper water, probing with its long bill.

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2017)

Featured articles:

Past records in our database:

Showing only accepted records. Note that records currently under review are also not displayed, and the list may not be a full list of records of this species in Singapore. For more details, check the database here.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Average number of individuals by week based on Singapore Bird Database data, Jul 2016 to Jun 2023 (all records)
Peak week Oct 01-Oct 07
Early date 22 Jul 1986
Late date 25 Apr 1982
Check in flocks of Common Redshank and Eurasian Whimbrel for a sighting of this scarce migrant.


BirdLife International. (2017). Limosa limosa. 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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