bartailed godwit

Essay by bk_harrison November 2014

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4AB008 Biosciences Study Skills

Bar-tailed Godwit Bill Length Exercise.

This exercise is intended to introduce or re-inforce two important skills.

the manipulation and graphical display of biometric data

the interpretation of the results.

Bar tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica).


These notes are a very brief summary of the entry for the Bar Tailed Godwit in the Handbook of the Birds and Europe, the Middle East and North Africa: the Birds of the Western Palearctic, edited by S.Cramp and K. E. L. Simmons and published by Oxford University Press.

The Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) is a cosmopolitan wader which generally breeds within the continental low arctic zone but locally may extend to the sub-arctic or boreal zones in a belt from Scandinavia to Alaska.

The species consists of two races; L. lapponica which breeds in Scandinavia and western USSR and L. baueri, which breeds in eastern Siberia and Alaska

The nest is generally a shallow scrape on a drier mound or ridge in swampy areas or in short vegetation in the open.

There are generally 3-4 eggs laid and incubation is by both sexes although the male is thought to take the greater share.

After breeding the birds move south from the breeding grounds: the eastern Siberian and Alaskan race (baueri) winters from south east Asia to Australia while the western Siberian and Scandinavian race (lapponica) winters in the North Sea and Atlantic coasts of Europe, Asia and to a lesser extent the Mediterranean, Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Godwits feed chiefly on invertebrates, especially insects, molluscs, crustaceans and annelid worms and obtain much of their prey by probing in the substrate.

On the coast they feed on the tide line, in mud or water, often with the head and neck immersed although they...