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

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

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

Local Subspecies: melanuroides

Size: 36-40 cm

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: Musflats, 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: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Near Threatened (BirdLife International 2017)

Featured articles:

Featured reports: Aug 2022

Past accepted records in our database:

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

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.