Creative Commons photo by Andreas Trepte
With its long beak, white-barred wings and namesake tail, the Black-Tailed Godwit is a distinctive and elegant bird. The godwit breeds from Iceland all the way through Europe and Siberia to parts of central Asia. It has a diverse migration pattern spanning the Indian Subcontinent, Australia, West Africa and parts of Western Europe.
The main threat for this species is habitat loss. Draining wetlands for dams and agricultural use throughout its main breeding and wintering ranges has left the Godwit homeless. The IUCN Red List categorizes the Black-Tailed Godwit as near threatened— it is estimated that the world population has declined by between 14 and 33 per cent in the past 15 years, according to Bird Life International.