Learn all about the Lapponic Slendertail, a great bird.

Limosa lapponica is a large wader of the family Scolopacidae. The genus name Limosa comes from Latin and means “muddy”, from limusina, “mud”. The specific laponic refers to Lapland. The English term “godwit” was first recorded around 1416-7 and is thought to mimic bird song.


Limosa lapponica is a type of winged caradriform winged creature that has a place in the scolopacidae group. They are substantial waders that can reach a wingspan of up to 72 cm and an extreme weight of 630 g. They have long legs and a characteristic, long, needle-molded, slightly upturned nose.

They have sexual dimorphism with respect to the greater size and weight of the females, which also have a longer beak than the males. The plumage of examples of both genders is fundamentally the same as in the vast majority of the year, with the exception of the breeding season, when males have substantially more serious shading plumage than females.

Possesses coastal localities, near-drifting stream marshes, and arctic tundra wetlands. They breed in the middle of the boreal summer in arctic and subarctic areas of the northern half of the globe, in Asia, Europe, and in northern and western Alaska.

They move in mid-winter to the coasts of Western Europe, the British Isles, Africa, the island of Madagascar, the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan, India, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand; following routes that occasionally exceed 11,000 km non-stop, flying uninterruptedly day and night for more than seven days, becoming the species that performs the longest transient flight phases considered.

Its protection status has been called relatively weakened, since although the populations wintering in Western Europe are stable or slightly increasing in number, those wintering on the remaining mainland are in controlled decline due, among other things, to the corruption of their environment. Their overall population is estimated at between 999,000 and 1,049,000 individuals.

In the breeding season it is predominantly introduced in beachfront areas or in nearby tundras and, to a lesser extent, inland. Outside this period it is also extremely coastal and shows an inclination for straights, marshes and estuaries.

Characteristics of the limosa lapponica

The limosa lapponica is a relatively short-legged needle species. Tail length is 37-41 cm (15-16 inches), with a wingspan of 70-80 cm (28-31 inches). Males average smaller than females but with much overlap; males weigh 190-400 g (6.7-14.1 oz), while females weigh 260-630 g (9.2-22.2 oz); there is also some regional variation in size (see subspecies, below). Meet the Soteño Bunting.

The adult has blue-gray legs and a slightly upturned bicolor bill, pink at the base and black towards the tip. The neck, breast and belly are uninterrupted brick red in breeding plumage, whitish in winter. The back is mottled gray.

It is distinguished from Limosa limosa by its barred, rather than entirely black, tail and by the lack of white bars on the wings. The most similar species is the Asian dowitcher.

There are three subspecies, listed from west to east:

  • L. l. lapponica – (Linnaeus, 1758): Breeds from northern Scandinavia eastward to the Taymyr Peninsula; winters on the western coasts of Europe and Africa from the British Isles and the Netherlands to South Africa, and also around the Persian Gulf. Smaller subspecies, males up to 360 g (13 oz), females up to 450 g (16 oz).
  • L. l.menzbieri – Portenko, 1936: Breeds in northeast Asia from the Taymyr Peninsula eastward to the Kolyma River delta; winters in southeast Asia and Australia. Intermediate between the other two subspecies.
  • L. l. baueri – Naumann, 1836: (called ‘Kuaka’ in Maori) Breeds in extreme northeast Asia, east of the Kolyma River, and in western Alaska; winters in Australia and New Zealand. The largest subspecies.


They feed mostly on spineless creatures, creepy crawlies, mollusks, shellfish and annelid worms. Occasionally they may also eat little fish and plant matter, e.g. natural products or seeds. Polychaetes are the main piece of its diet, in particular those of the Nereidididae family, e.g., Alitta virens and Alitta succinea, together with different types of sandworms, e.g., Arenicola marina or Scoloplos armiger.

They form mixed herds while hunting their work on sandbanks or in the neglected intertidal fields uncovered at low tide, dominating during the day, even though they may occasionally feed on twilight evenings as well.

They recognize their prey by the waste products that rise to the top and their system to achieve this consists of sinking their nose again and again and deeply while influencing the horizontal developments with their head, while vibrating their lower jaws to stimulate the development of their prey and thus identify them more effectively due to the nerve receptors, called Herbst’s corpuscles, which allow them to catch the development of their prey under mud or sand.

This same strategy is used in lakes and shallow water up to 15 cm deep, often submerging the head and neck. Females have a tendency to go deeper into the water as they have a more elongated bead than males, up to 25% longer.


The lapponic slimy is a non-breeding migrant in Australia. Breeding occurs annually in Scandinavia, northern Asia and Alaska. The nest is a shallow vessel in moss sometimes overgrown with vegetation. Both sexes share incubation of the eggs and care of the young.


The pintailed godwit migrates in flocks to the east coast of Asia, Alaska, Australia, Africa, northwestern Europe, and New Zealand.

It was shown in 2007 to perform the longest non-stop flight of all birds. The New Zealand birds were tagged and tracked by satellite to the Yellow Sea in China. According to Dr. Clive Minton (Australasian Wader Studies Group): “The distance between these two locations is 9,575 km (5,950 miles), but the actual trajectory of the bird was 11,026 km (6,851 miles). This was the longest known nonstop flight of any bird. The flight lasted approximately nine days. At least three other snipe also appear to have reached the Yellow Sea after nonstop flights from New Zealand.”

One specific female in the flock, nicknamed “E7,” flew from China to Alaska and remained there during the breeding season. Then, on August 29, 2007, she departed on a non-stop flight from the Avinof Peninsula in western Alaska to the Piako River near Thames, New Zealand, setting a new known flight record of 11,680 km (7,258 miles).

Threats and conservation

The bare-tailed godwit is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies. (see article: (tixagag_16) Lanius Collurio ).

This wader is extremely sensitive to human aggravation and even leaves large areas if the obstruction in the middle of the proliferation turns out to be excessively visited. It is enormously influenced by pollution, which executes sandworms and the different spineless creatures that make up its diet. It is also weakened by the change and annihilation of its living space, both in travel and wintering areas. The colipinta needle is incorporated into the List of Wildlife Species under Special Protection Regime.


In Europe, a population of between 1,400 and 7,400 individuals is expected, which have recently been statistically very robust. Likewise, in the European land mass, no less than 120,000 individuals overwinter, of which 300-3,800 are spread over our domains. In Europe, wintering is on the rise, something that can also be found in Spain, especially in some Andalusian cities.


In the breeding season it is introduced predominantly in areas in front of the beach or in nearby tundras and, to a lesser extent, inland. Outside this period it is also extremely coastal and shows an inclination for straights, marshes and estuaries.


The house is located on the ground, at a certain height in a marshy landscape or among sparse vegetation, and is composed of a light doldrums secured with plant matter. Laying takes place from the end of May and consists of two to four olive or green eggs with small dark or dark colored pieces. Incubation time is 20 to 21 days and the chicks, when conceived, can move and feed with incredible self-governance.

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