Family Sandpipers, Snipes, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Near Threatened

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica)


French: Barge rousse German: Pfuhlschnepfe Spanish: Aguja colipinta

Scolopax lapponica


, 1758,



Form baueri treated as full species by some authors#R, but without supporting evidence; key character is a heavily marked vs all-white rump. Race menzbieri sometimes included within baueri, but is intermediate between latter and nominate. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. l. lapponica (Linnaeus, 1758) – N parts of Fennoscandia Lapland E through Kola and Kanin Peninsulas to W Yamal (NC Russia); winters from North Sea, W Iberia and NW Africa S to W South Africa.
  • L. l. taymyrensis Engelmoer & Roselaar, 1998 – NW & NC Siberia from Yamal Peninsula to basin of R Anabar; winters coasts of Africa E to Persian Gulf and W India.
  • L. l. menzbieri Portenko, 1936 – N Siberia between Lena Delta and Chaunskaya Bay; winters from SE Asia to NW Australia.
  • L. l. baueri J. F. Naumann, 1836 – NE Siberia (E of Chaunskaya Bay) to W & N Alaska; winters from China to Australia, New Zealand and some SW Pacific islands.
  • L. l. anadyrensis Engelmoer & Roselaar, 1998 – E Siberia (Chukotka and Anadyr lowlands); winters in Australia, possibly also New Zealand.
  • Descriptive notes

    37–41 cm; male 190–400 g, female 262–630 g; wingspan 70–80 cm. Medium-sized godwit with slightly upcurved bill and barred tail; in flight, lacks white... read more


    On the breeding grounds, territorial call given in flight or from the ground is a continuously... read more


    Lowland scrub tundra, forest tundra, rolling uplands, wet river valleys and open larch woodland... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet on breeding grounds mainly comprises insects, annelids, molluscs, occasionally seeds and berries. Non-breeding diet mainly Nereis... read more


    Lays late May to Jun. Monogamous. Densities 0·1–1·0 pairs/km². Nest usually on dry, elevated sites, often between... read more


    Long distance migrant. Race lapponica wintering in Europe originates from N Europe and... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Global population over 999,000–1,049,000 birds. Regional populations as follows: nominate lapponica... read more

    Recommended citation

    Van Gils, J., Wiersma, P., Sharpe, C.J. & Boesman, P. (2019). Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).