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Adults have blue-grey legs and a very long straight bill with a slight upward curve and pink at the base. The neck, breast and belly are brick red in breeding plumage, off white in winter. The back is mottled grey.
They migrate in flocks to western Europe, Africa, south Asia and Australia. Interestingly, although this species occurs in Ireland and Great Britain all year round, they are not the same birds. The breeding birds depart in autumn, but are replaced in winter by the larger Icelandic race, L. l. islandica. These birds occasionally appear in the Aleutian Islands and, rarely, on the Atlantic coast of North America.
These birds forage by probing on mudflats or in marshes. In short vegetation, they may pick up insects by sight. They mainly eat insects and crustaceans, but also eat parts of aquatic plants. They are much more likely to be found on freshwater than the coastal Bar-tailed Godwit. In flight, they can be distinguished from the Hudsonian Godwit by their white wing linings with black edges.
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