Limosa limosa   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: 36-44 cm; Length male 40-41 cm, female 50 cm.

Color: Above plain grey-brown; below whitish; head, neck and breast light brownish; pale superciliary line; white bar with black trailing edge in spread wing; rump white, tail band black; breeding bird mottled brownish above, head and chest reddish chestnut, flanks barred black, belly whitish. Bare parts: iris hazel to dark brown; bill long and straight, blackish with basal third or more orange-pink to pinkish; feet and legs greyish- or bluish-grey to blackish.

Voice: Silent in winter, low trisyllabic wit-wit-wit or quick-quick-quick.

Habits: Gregarious, often occurs in large flocks, common in stagnant waters at the margins of drying jheels, flocks often wade into shallow water up to the belly feeding with head and neck submerged.

Adult: Sexes alike but female slightly larger, bill long, slender and straight with red base and dusky tip, upperparts grey-brown, with white upper tail-coverts, underparts white, legs and feet greyish-green. In summer, assumes chestnut head and breast, bars on flanks, white chin, throat, abdomen and lower back. In flight, broad white wing-bars, white rump and black tail-tip distinctive.

Breeding season: It breeds from April to mid-June in loose, semi-colonial groups of up to 3 pairs per ha. Nest- The nest is placed on the ground in short, often luxurious vegetation. It consists of a shallow scrape 12-15cm in diameter, lined with a thick mat of stem grass, leaves and other available vegetation. Breeding birds show a high degree of nest site fidelity and some degree of natal philopatry.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Black-tailed Godwit (English)
• Blacktailed Godwit (English)
• Gudera (Hindi)
• Gairiya (Hindi)
• Jangral (Hindi)
• Khag (Hindi)
• Malgujha (Hindi)
• Pattavalan godwit (Malayalam)
• Tondu ulanka (Telugu)
• Kannadi ullan (Tamil)
• Malguja, Khag (Marathi)
• Kalipunchh/Moto gadera (Gujrati)
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Good sporting birds, eagerly sought by sportsmen.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Loss of nesting habitat owing to wetland drainage and agricultural intensification, and conversely, abandonment, are the most significant threats. Detrimental activities include the conversion of wet meadows to arable land, increased fertilisation and drainage of grassland, artificial flooding of nesting habitats, earlier and more frequent cutting as farmers adapt to climate change, spring burning, overgrowing by scrub, land claiming by businesses and developers, the construction of roads and parks, and disturbance by walkers. )

Habitat:  Estuarine, Coastal
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Chiefly carnivorous, comprising molluscs, crustaceans, seeds.


• Orissa, Chilika Lake (Lat: 19.77) (Long: 85.33) INDIA
• West Bengal INDIA
• Goa, Baga INDIA (Record: 12/11/1983)
• Goa, Chapora estuary INDIA
• Goa, Carambolim INDIA
• Goa, Neura INDIA
• Goa, Divar Island INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram INDIA (Record: 08/1986-07/1987)
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.66) (Long: 76.55) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.28) (Long: 76.31) INDIA
• Goa, Mandovi estuary INDIA
• Orissa, Dhamra Port INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake (Lat: 13.67) (Long: 80.17) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Maharashtra, Navi Mumbai INDIA
• Kerela, Kuttanad wetlands INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Arunachal Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Pallikaranai Wetlands INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA
• Gujarat, Bet Dwarka INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA
• Gujarat, Mahi River estuary INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Abbaasi, SA (1997) Wetlands of India-Ecology and Threats Discovery Publishing House,New Delhi II 1-182 Available at - NIO, RC Kochi
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Sampath, K and Krishnamurthy, K (1990) Shorebirds (Charadriiformes) of the Pichavaram Mangroves, Tamil Nadu, India Wader Study Group Bulletin 58 24-27 Available at -
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Borges, SD and Shanbhag, AB (2008) Food resource partitioning among waterbirds wintering on the Diwar wetland in the Mandove estuary of Goa, India Proceedings of Taal2007:The 12th World Lake conference 124-130 Available at -
  • Dutta, SK (2007) Biodiversity assessment of Dhamra port site and surrounding areas, Orissa Greenpeace India 4-38 Available at -
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Available at -
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Balachandran, S (2006) The decline in wader populations along the east coast of India with special reference to Point Calimere, south-east India. Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith & D.A. Stroud The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK. 296-301pp Available at -
  • Nayak, A.K. (2006) Status of migratory shorebirds at Bhitarkanika and Chilika wetlands on the east coast of India Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith & D.A. Stroud The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK 305-307pp Available at -
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at -
  • Pawar PP (2011) Species diversity of birds in mangroves of Uran (Raigad), Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, West coast of India Journal of Experimental Sciences 2(10) 73-77 Available at -
  • Narayanan SP, Thomas AP and Sreekumar B (2011) Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4) 1663–1676 Available at -
  • Lal Mohan RS (1986) Birds and Bird Catchers Of Ramanathapuram Coast Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Nikhil Raj PP, Ranjini J, Dhanya R, Subramanian J, Azeez PA and Bhupathy S (2010) Consolidated checklist of birds in the Pallikaranai Wetlands, Chennai, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(8) 1114-1118pp Available at -
  • Gupta RC, Kaushik TK and Gupta PK (2012) WINTER MIGRATORY WETLAND BIRDS IN HARYANA ARE CONFRONTING ADVERSE CONDITIONS IN RURAL PONDS Resulting in reduction in arrival number: A case study of village Amin in Thanesar block in Kurukshetra district Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences 2 (1) 7pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2002) Waders and other wetland birds on Byet Dwarka Island, Gulf of Kutch, western India Wader Study Group Bull. 31-34 Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -
  • Pandya PJ and Vachhrajani KD (2010) Birds of Mahi River estuary, Gujarat, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 2(6) 994-1000pp Available at -
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-07-10

Back to Search