Tail with eight or nine transverse dusky bars: bill curving considerably upwards: middle claw short, and without serratures: tarsi moderate.
L. rufa, Temm. Man. d"Orn. torn. 11. p. 668. Godwit, and Red Godwit,'Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. 11. pp. 59, & 61. Shaw, Gen. Zool. vol. xii. p. 77. Red Godwit, Selb. Must, vol.11, p.98. pl. 22.
Entire length sixteen inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) three inches, (from the gape) three inches one line; of the tarsus one inch eleven lines and a half; of the tail two inches ten lines; from the carpus to the end of the wing eight inches.
(Male and female in winter plumage). Crown of the head, space between the bill and the eyes, cheeks, and neck, pale ash-colour, with longitudinal streaks of brown; a broad line above the eyes, throat, breast, belly, and abdomen, white; flanks, and some of the under tail-coverts, streaked with dusky brown: upper part of the back, and scapulars, cinereous gray, the shafts of the feathers, together with a small portion of the webs on each side, brownish black; wing-coverts white, the middle of each feather deep brown: quills dusky: lower part of the back, and rump, white with dusky spots: tail with alternate transverse bars of white and blackish brown: basal half of the bill purplish red; the tip black: irides brown: legs and toes black. (Male in summer plumage). Crown and nape reddish orange, with brown streaks; line above the eyes, throat, sides of the neck, and all the under parts, bright ferruginous; the feathers on the sides of the breast, flanks, and under tail-coverts, longitudinally streaked with dusky brown: back and scapulars deep black, with oval spots of pale orange-red at the edges of the feathers; wing-coverts dusky ash, edged with white: quills black with white shafts: rump white spotted with black: tail with alternate bars of brown and reddish white. In the female, the ferruginous tint is not so bright: the upper parts are deep brown, with cinereous undulating lines, and yellowish spots on the edges of the feathers: under parts pale reddish yellow, with the exception of the middle of the belly, which is pure white; sides of the breast, flanks, and under tail-coverts, streaked with black. Dimensions always larger than those of the male.
(Young of the year). " Head, nape, back, and scapulars, deep brown, the feathers with an interrupted border of yellowish white; wing-coverts broadly edged with white: neck, breast, and flanks, reddish ash, with fine longitudinal streaks of brown; band above the eyes, throat, and belly, pure white; rump and under tail-coverts white, with large lanceolate dusky spots: tail with broad zigzag bars of brown and reddish white; the tip white: legs dusky ash." Temm. (Egg). Unknown.
Not uncommon on our coasts during the winter months, and occasionally observed in marshes inland. Said to resort to higher latitudes to breed. Food, worms, insects, and the smaller bivalve mollusca. Obs. The Common Godwit of Montagu and Bewick is this species in its winter plumage. The Red Godwit of this last author (but not of Montagu) is the same in its summer plumage.