Sexes alike. Female slightly larger than male. Grey-brown above; whitish below; very long, straight beak; in flight, broad, white wing-bars, white
rump and black tail-tip distinctive. In summer, dull rufous-red on head, neck and breast, with close-barred lower breast and flanks. The Bar-tailed Godwit
L. lapponica has a slightly upcurved beak; in flight, lack of white wing-bars and barred black and white tail help identification. Gregarious, often with other large waders; quite active, probing with long beak; wades in water, the long legs often barely visible; fast and graceful, low flight.