Bar-Tailed Godwit

Limosa lapponica
Range Map

The Bar-Tailed Godwit breeds in the far north and most usually migrate through Asia to their winter homes in Oceana. It can generate a lot of interest when someone spots these birds on the west coast of the USA.

The genus name Limosa is from Latin and means “muddy”, referring to its preferred habitat (reported as wet sedge meadows with hummocks covered by moss).

Today’s science recognises five subspecies of Bar-Tailed Godwit:

  • L. l. lapponica breeds from northern Scandinavia east, and spends winters on the western coasts of Europe and Africa, and also around the Persian Gulf.
  • L. l. taymyrensis breeds in central Siberia and east.
  • L. l. menzbieri breeds in northeastern Asia from the Anabar River east to the Kolyma River delta and spends winters in Australia.
  • L. l. anadyrensis breeds from the Anadyr lowlands in far northeastern Asia east of the Kolyma River.
  • L. l. baueri breeds in western Alaska; winters in Australia and New Zealand.

In August 2010, I met a wayward member of this species on the sandy shores of Imperial Beach a few miles north of the border with Mexico.

8 Photos

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