Bird GuideSandpipersBlack-tailed Godwit
Black-tailed Godwit
Limosa limosa

At a Glance

The rarest of the four godwits in our area, the Black-tail nests in Eurasia and is only a stray to North America. In Alaska it may be a rare but regular migrant in spring in the Aleutian Islands. On our Atlantic Coast it is only casual or accidental, but strays have been found in several states and provinces, from Newfoundland to Florida.
Sandpiper-like Birds, Sandpipers
Low Concern
Coasts and Shorelines, Saltwater Wetlands
Alaska and The North, Eastern Canada, New England
Direct Flight, Running

Range & Identification


12-15" (30.5-38 cm). Bill straighter than those of other godwits. In breeding plumage, reddish brown on head and chest, heavily barred on sides. Very gray in winter plumage. In flight, shows strong pattern like Hudsonian Godwit, but underside of wings are white, not black.
About the size of a Crow, About the size of a Mallard or Herring Gull
Black, Brown, Gray, Orange, White
Wing Shape
Broad, Pointed, Tapered
Tail Shape
Rounded, Short, Square-tipped, Wedge-shaped

Songs and Calls

A loud quee-quee-quee; often silent.