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Bar-tailed godwit

What am I?

I am a wading bird.

Where do I come from?

I fly here from the high Arctic, our nearest summer breeding grounds are in Scandinavia.

A bit about me

You will see me in large, often noisy, flocks. We feed by making fast probing movements in the mud and sometimes it looks like we do not stop walking whilst we do this. We like to eat marine worms and molluscs.

When we fly in to roost we roll and twist through the sky.

The best way to tell me apart from the Black-tailed Godwit is that in flight I do not have white wing bars; when on the ground you can see I have shorter legs and my beak is slightly upcurved.

Local spotlight

Much scarcer than the similar species of Black-tailed Godwit, with Solent numbers between 300 and 600 throughout the peak months of December to March. My numbers are unfortunately decreasing

Conservation status

I’m amber listed in the UK

I’m a qualifying feature for the Chichester and Langstone Harbours Special Protection Area – that means, when the site was designated, a nationally significant number of us used these awesome coastlines in the winter!

Fun fact

Some Bar-tailed Godwits breed in Alaska and fly 7,000 miles non-stop to their wintering grounds in New Zealand! We can do this as we shut down half our brain so we can sleep whilst flying.