Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Black-tailed Godwit - Limosa limosa
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General Comments This Eurasian species is quite spectacular, though it can easily be overlooked as, or confused with, its Nearctic counterpart -- the Hudsonian Godwit. In the state, the Black-tailed Godwit is an accidental visitor, with three records: one photographed at Bodie Island lighthouse pond, 27 Dec 1979 - 12 Jan 1980* [Chat 45:13-14 link]; one at Pea Island, 24-31 Jul 1994* [Chat 59:76 link]; and far inland at the Cherry Hospital grounds near Goldsboro on 23 Sep 1999*, associated with Hurricane Floyd [Chat 64:70 link].
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
State Status
U.S. Status
State Rank SA
Global Rank G4
Coastal Plain Three records (see above).
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips This species looks similar to a Hudsonian Godwit in basic plumage. Black-taileds are larger overall, have an essentially straight bill, and seem more "elegant" at rest. However, you should see one in flight to clinch the identification, as the wide white wing stripe and white underwing linings are quite striking. A "Hudsonian" seen in late fall or winter should be carefully checked for this species.
Attribution LeGrand[2023-03-10], LeGrand[2018-02-01], LeGrand[2012-05-27]
NC Map
Map depicts all counties with a report (transient or resident) for the species.
Click on county for list of all known species.