A large and graceful wader with distictive white tail ending in a broad black band and clear broad white wing bar. These birds have long, straight bills and in the breeding season a rosy-chestnut blush to the underparts.
Separate race in Iceland and the others breed mainly in near temperate Asia but with scattered nesting in Western Europe (particularly the Waddensee) and in Eastern Asia. Wintering birds are in sub-Saharan Africa, India the Far East and Australia. Winters on estuaries but breeds on freshwater marshes and grazing meadows. North American equivalent bird the Hudsonian Godwit. Spreading in Scandinavia and England. English population extinct but a few now breed after 100 years but return painfully slow and numbers have dropped in the last 25 years. Population estimate about 35 pairs.
A striking and quite large wader.
Length 420 mm Closed wing 210 mm Weight 280 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead