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Black-tailed Godwit | Limosa limosa

The Black-tailed Godwit is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Black-tailed Godwit (Latin name Limosa limosa) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Limosa limosa can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 287 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 346. You will find a picture of the Black-tailed Godwit on page 368.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Black-tailed Godwit between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Black-tailed Godwit has a height of 44 cms and weighs around 330 gms. The head is coloured chestnut while the bill is coloured orange. The Limosa limosa has a grey coloured throat, grey legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Limosa limosa has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is chestnut

Eyes are brown

Bill is orange

Legs are grey

Throat is grey

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Black-tailed Godwit is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

You can see the Black-tailed Godwit bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Black-tailed Godwit is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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