31 January, 2012

Bar-Tailed Godwit

Scientific Name: Limosa lapponica

Population Estimate: 1.1 - 1.2M

Range / Habitat: Breeds on inland wetlands and boggy Arctic of Scandinavia, northern Asia, and Alaska. Migrates to coastal East Asia, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and northwestern Europe where found in estuaries.

Field Notes: Large wading shorebird with a long, upturned bill. Most common migrant wader in New Zealand in summer, with non-breeding plumage as above. Overall very mottled, less crisp, than other godwits. Tail is a finely barred, not solid.

Personal Notes: Maori name Kuaka. Seen at Paunawea, South Island, New Zealand. This species makes the longest known non-stop flight of any bird and also the longest journey without pausing to feed by any animal = 11,700 kilometers (~7,300 mi) along a route from Alaska to New Zealand. This journey takes nine days.

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