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Common name Black-tailed godwit
Scientific name Limosa limosa
Type Waterbirds
Status Migrator

Large-sized wader (about 40 cm or 15.5 in) with an elongated neck. Long and black legs, large straight and elongated bill (larger in females), needle-shaped and orange coloured with a black tip. Males with dark brown upperparts, almost black, with a scaly design. Orange brown head, neck and breast; whitish underparts and barred flanks. Females with similar but more dull plumage and whiter belly. Winter plumage of both sexes of uniform grey tones with light scales and a white belly. In flight they show a characteristic black tail with white base and black wings with a white transverse stripe.



Where it lives

Species of wet meadows and wetlands with shallow waters. Present in salt and freshwater marshes, rice fields, coastal and inland wetlands and estuaries.

How it lives

Wintering bird in the province and also present during the migratory passage. It breeds in Iceland, Norway, Scotland, Russia and northern Europe in mid-April. The Black-Tailed Godwit makes one annual laying of 3 to 4 eggs. Nest located on the ground. It captures aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates extracted from the mud of the banks by plunging its long bill and leaving some characteristic marks.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Frequent species although not abundant in most humid areas of Malaga. It can be observed both in the inland lagoons (Fuente de Piedra and Campillos) and in the mouths of the Vélez and Guadalhorce rivers. In passage it is also watched in the littoral zone, especially at Punta de Calaburras.

Curious facts

The Latin name of godwits ("Limosa") refers to their preference for slime swamps or muddy environments. "Estaquillas" or "Gallejuelos", popular names of the species in Spanish, depend to a large extent on the rice fields for their survival during their migratory passage. Depending on the climatic severity of the year, the birds use or spend more or less time in paddy fields and flood-prone cereal crops on their migratory route, feeding on vegetable matter, grain and small invertebrates.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration