Tail of a uniform black, the base white: wings with a transverse white bar: bill very slightly curved: middle claw long and serrated: tarsi very long.
L. melanura, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. II. p. 664. Black-tailed Godwit, Selb. Illust. vol. II. p. 94. pl. 21. Jadreka Snipe, Mont. Orn. Diet. Supp. with fig.
Entire length seventeen inches six lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) four inches seven lines, (from the gape) four inches ten lines; of the tarsus three inches four lines; of the naked part of the tibia one inch eleven lines; of the tail three inches eight lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing nine inches six lines.
(Winter plumage). All the upper parts of a uniform cinereous brown, with the shafts of the feathers of a somewhat deeper tint: streak over the eyes, throat, fore part of the neck, breast, and flanks, grayish white; belly, abdomen, rump, and under tail-coverts, white: quills dusky; the basal portion of some of the primaries white: greater wing-coverts ash-gray, broadly edged with white: tail white for one-third of its length from the base; the remaining portion black; the two middle feathers tipped with white: bill orange-red at the base, the tip black: legs dusky gray; the tarsi much longer than in the last species. (Summer plumage). Crown of the head black, the feathers edged with bright red: eye-streak reddish white; space between the eye and the bill brown; throat and neck bright ferruginous, with brownish specks; breast and flanks the same, with transverse crescent-shaped bars of brownish black: upper part of the back, and scapulars, deep black, all the feathers tipped with reddish brown, and edged at the sides with small spots of the same colour; wing-coverts much as in winter: middle of the belly, abdomen, and base of the tail, white; lower part of the back, and remainder of the tail, deep black: base of the bill bright orange: legs black. (Young of the year, before the first moult). Eye-streak, throat, base of the tail, belly, and abdomen, white: upper part of the head brown, the feathers with reddish edges; neck and breast pale red, tinged with cinereous; feathers on the back and scapulars dusky brown, surrounded by a red border; wing-coverts cinereous, broadly edged and tipped with reddish white; tips of the tail-feathers edged with white: extremity of the bill brown. (Egg). Light olive-brown, blotched and spotted with darker brown: long. diam. two inches two lines; trans, diam. one inch six lines.
Much less frequent than the last species. Haunts marshes and low pastures, and is not often observed on the sea-coast. Is occasionally known to breed in the fenny districts of Cambridgeshire and Norfolk. Lays four eggs. Food, insects and their larvae, worms, etc.