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Kuaka/Eastern Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica baueri

Native. At risk-declining.


Bar-tailed Godwits breed in Siberia and Alaska and travel all the way from the arctic to spend summer on southern hemisphere shores before returning in the autumn to breed in the northern summer. Most years the Manawatū Estuary hosts about 150 birds and are best seen from the Dawick Street viewing platform at high tide, roosting on the sandspit. Feeding on the mudflats at low tide they probe for molluscs, crustaceans and worms.

In non-breeding plumage, Bar-tailed Godwits sport a mottled dull brown and white upperparts, with dull white underparts. The rump and tail are barred brown and white, hence the name. In breeding plumage the males' underparts become chestnut red instead of white. The females are larger and have longer beaks. The long, slightly upturned bill is at least 1.5 times the length of the head (2 times the length, in females), and is pale pink at the base, shading to black at the tip. The legs are a dark grey. Bar-tailed Godwits form flocks which can number several hundred. .

nzbirdsonline-bar-tailed godwit

Sightings of banded/flagged birds at the Estuary
White flag ZZU 15/1/24
White flag BEC 15/1/24
White flag BEP 15/1/24
Banding date:15/2/2018
Banded: Manawatu Estuary
Since banding: 5 yrs 11m
Sex: Female
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