Description: While bulkier and more active than other shorebirds, red knots migrate impressive distances. In the winter, they resemble many of their shorebird relatives, and are mostly pale grey on their wings and rump with a white chest and face. But come springtime they display their unique breeding plumage, dappled chestnut brown wings with and a distinguishable reddish breast and face.
Size: Length 25-28 cm.
Diet: Horseshoe crab eggs, mollusks, insects, some vegetation and seeds.
Typical Lifespan: Documented to live 13 years
Habitat: Shores, tundra during the summer, tidal flats and as they migrate they will inhabit sandy beaches, costal mudflats even areas away from the coast but close to streams or ponds.
Range: Their winter range places them on shorelines around the world, from Australia to South America.
Life History and Reproduction: They winter in large concentrations and will migrate long distances for food.
Fun Fact: How far is a red knot’s yearly round trip journey? (14,000 miles or 22,400 km)
Conservation Status: Red knot numbers are currently in decline and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists them as a Bird of Conservation Concern. It is potentially a candidate for the endangered species list.
by Laura Tangley, published in National Wildlife magazine
Along the coast of Delaware Bay, thousands of migratory birds depend on an ancient annual rite besieged by modern threats. Read more >>
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