Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Black-Tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)


The Black-Tailed Godwit has a length of 41cm, and can weigh between 280-400g for males, and 300-500g in the winter. Summer plumage has a orange-red head and neck, compared the Bar-Tailed Godwit which has Orange-Red all over the front of the body. The Black-Tailed Godwit are a long straight-billed wader with long-legs and a white wing-bar and white tail, with a black band on the tail and at their lower back. Black-Tailed Godwits’ winter plumage are grey, and to differ from the Bar-tailed Godwit they have a more uniform colour on their upperparts. In water, the Black-Tailed Godwits’ feeding method involves probing vigorously, which is up to 36 times per minute, and often with the head completely submerged. On land Black-Tailed Godwits’ probe onto soft ground and pick prey items from the surface. 


The Black-Tailed Godwit live in damp meadows in the summer, and change to coastal areas usually, as well as estuaries in the winter.


The Black-Tailed Godwit feed on exclusively on invertebrates, but also aquatic plants in winter and on migration. They occasionally eat fish eggs and tadpoles

Protection Status 

This species is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

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