Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)

The following are some photographs of godwits banded at Broome in September 1992.

The Black-tailed Godwit above has a straighter bill, and it has a more even colour than the Bar-tailed Godwit below.  Female godwits are considerably heavier and have longer bills than males.

It is a memorable sight to see thousands and thousands of godwits along the high tide line in Roebuck Bay and 80 Mile Beach, especially when they are in breeding plumage, which neither of these are.  It is estimated that more than 200,000 godwits migrate through the north west each year.

Results from the banding in the north west show that godwits don't migrate until their third or fourth year.  Waders banded in the north west have plastic yellow leg flags on their upper leg.  Please report any sightings away from the north west.

Black-tailed Godwits are the most likely to be seen on fresh water lakes.  I have seen them at the southern end of Lake Argyle in the Kimberley, and Lake McLarty in the south west. Bar-tailed Godwits are the most likely at salt water mudflats along the coast or in river estuaries.

Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2003 Visits Last Modified 5th June 2003