Birds of North Carolina:
their Distribution and Abundance
Bar-tailed Godwit - Limosa lapponica
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General Comments This Eurasian shorebird has appeared along the East Coast much more often than the Black-tailed Godwit. Whereas the latter is usually confused with Hudsonian Godwits, Bar-tailed Godwits can be confused with the large Marbled Godwit and especially with Long-billed Dowitcher (as this godwit is "small" and has somewhat short legs). North Carolina has a surprising number of records, all coastal; neighboring South Carolina still lacks a record.
Breeding Status Nonbreeder
NC BRC List Definitive
Coastal Plain Casual to very rare visitor, with three spring and six fall reports, all from the coast. The spring reports are: 1, Portsmouth Island, 8-9 May 1992* [Chat 57:58 link]; 2, Portsmouth Island, 23 Apr - 9 May 1993* [Chat 58:63 link]; and 1 photographed at Frisco (Dare), 8 Apr 2016* [Chat 80:115-116 link]. Fall reports are all of singles at Pea Island on 22 Jul 1998 [Chat 63:39 link], 31 Aug - 1 Sep 1971, 21 Sep 1975, and 14 Oct 1974; one photographed at Portsmouth Island, 22 Sep - 10 Oct 1982* [Chat 47:71-72 link]; and one photographed at the eastern end of Shackleford Banks (Carteret), 2 Oct - 15 Nov 2016*. Though perhaps none of these reports is suspect, as most were reported by experienced birders, documentation of several have been sparse, and the NC BRC has reviewed/accepted only about five of these.
Piedmont No records.
Mountains No records.
Finding Tips
1/2 *
Attribution LeGrand[2017-08-24], LeGrand[2016-12-12], 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.
NA Maps
(source NatureServe)

View NatureServe distribution maps for Limosa lapponica