This rare visitor from Eurasia is similar to Hudsonian Godwit. Black-tailed has a bolder white stripe on the upper surface of the wing, extending from the primaries clear through the secondaries (stripe does not extend through secondaries on Hudsonian). The underside of the Black-tailed's wing is white, not black like Hudsonian. The legs on Black-tailed Godwit are longer than those of other godwits, so the entire foot and part of the tarsus extends beyond the tail in flight. The bill has a clean pinkish base with a black tip, and does not curve upward as on other godwits. The wingtips project just beyond the tail, and the primary extension is about the same as the distance between the bill and the eye. (Hudsonian shows longer wing projection, and a primary projection that is obviously longer than the bill-to-eye distance.) Alternate Male: Upperparts black with rufous and white mottling. Entire head, neck, and breast rufous, fading to white on the lower belly and undertail coverts. Lower breast, belly, and flanks heavily barred with black. Alternate Female: Paler than male, with more white on the breast and neck. Basic Adult: Plain gray-brown, with a whitish supercilium and whitish belly. Very similar to Hudsonian Godwit. Juvenile: Dark scapulars with buff edges, and dark tertials with buff notches are characteristic. Pale supercilium extends beyond eye. Head, neck, and underparts buffy overall.
Length: 36 (cm) Wingspan: 74 (cm)
Coastal mudflats, freshwater marshes, flooded fields.
When feeding, longer legs force Black-tailed to reach farther down, causing the tail to extend upward. Other godwits feed with their backs more level.
Probes while wading.
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