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Black-tailed Godwit in water, photo

Along with the Avocet, the black-tailed godwit is one of the few species re-established in the UK as breeding birds - there were as few as four breeding pairs recorded! Over time and thanks to conservation efforts, both the breeding and over-wintering populations have risen.

Until the early 19th century this bird was widespread in East Anglia and parts of Yorkshire but had almost disappeared by 1830 due to extensive draining of land, organised shoots and egg-collecting.

Anglo-Saxons appear to have regarded the godwit as a table delicacy, for the name they gave the bird "god wiht" meant "good creature" and implies a respect for its eating qualities.

A white under-tail covert and black tail distinguishes this bird from its close relative, the bar-tailed godwit - which has a barred black and white tail as its name suggests!

Classified in the UK as Red under the Birds of Conservation Concern 5: the Red List for Birds (2021)Priority Species under the UK Post-2010 Biodiversity Framework. Listed as Near Threatened on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.