Name: Bar-tailed Godwit
Scientific name: Limosa lapponica
Conservation status: IUCN - Near Threatened

Bar-tailed Godwit is the champion of non-stop flight. A world record was made in 2020 when a Bar-tailed Godwit labeled BBRW have been recorded travelling at least 12,000km from Alaska to New Zealand in only 11 days.


Bar-tailed Godwit is medium-sized shorebird of 37-39 cm in length. It has a long thin and slightly upcurved beak, black and pinkish towards base. Tail feathers are barred. Breeding plumage is overall rufous brown with notches on upperpart feathers. In non-breeding season, body becomes dull with light brown colour on chest and some white on belly. Females have longer pale beak than males.

Distribution range

*This map was produced by EAAFP Shorebird Working Group and EAAFP Secretariat.

Breeding grounds: breeds in breeds in Arctic of Scandinavia, Siberia, Alaska and northern Asia.

Passage or in winter (or as a vagrant): In southward migration mostly non-stop; in northward migration, may stop-over in the Yellow Sea region

Wintering grounds: From southeast Asia to Australia and New Zealand


Non-breeding ground in Roebuck Bay © Katherine Leung

Breeds in marshy, swampy areas in lowland tundra near river valleys, lakes and sedge bogs in the Arctic. In winter inhabits intertidal wetlands with tidal flats or sandbars.

Population estimate (more specific if subspecies are present)

Bar-tailed Godwit contains at least 5 subspecies, for East Asian-Australasian Flyway populations, which includes 3 subspecies: L. l. baueri, L. l. anadyrensis and  L. l. menzbieri, totaling about 272,000 individuals.

Main threats

Habitat loss and habitat degradation, especially in the Yellow Sea region which is the key stop-over site of the species; also suffering from hunting.

How you can help

  • There had been good amount of studies on this species, as a bird watcher, you can help by report sightings of Bar-tailed Godwit with legflags, or tags, check [here].
  • Sustainable management of the sites where Bar-tailed Godwit uses
  • Help to promote the conservation of Bar-tailed Godwit
  • Join EAAFP Shorebirds Working Group
  • Donate and support EAAFP’s work

Learn more about Bar-tailed Godwit


Click [here] to download the Bar-tailed Godwit Factsheet. All Copyrights Reserved.