Red KnotCalidris canutus

adult, breeding
Arthur Morris/VIREO
juvenile
Arthur Morris/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Rick and Nora Bowers/VIREO
adult, molting to breeding plumage
Doug Wechsler/VIREO
adult, nonbreeding
Manuel Grosselet/VIREO
Red Knot
Red Knot

Family

Description

10.5" (27 cm). A robin-sized shorebird. Breeding adults have pinkish-rufous face and underparts, dark brown upperparts with pale feather edgings. Fall birds gray above, whitish below. Rump dark; wing stripe faint; bill straight and slightly tapered; legs greenish.

Voice

A soft quer-wer; also a soft knut.

Listen

foraging calls
song & calls

Habitat

Breeds on tundra; during migration, on tidal flats, rocky shores and beaches.

Range

Breeds on islands in high Arctic of Canada. Winters on coasts from California and Massachusetts southward to southern South America. Also in Eurasia.

Discussion

In breeding plumage, with their rich rufous underparts, set off by marbled gray backs, Red Knots are among the handsomest of shorebirds. Those that winter in southern South America may make a round trip of nearly 20,000 miles (32,000 kilometers) each year.

Nesting

4 olive-buff eggs, spotted wit brown, in a slight depression lined with lichens, often among rocks.

Similar Species

adult, breeding

Surfbird

10" (25 cm). A stocky, rock-dwelling shorebird, slightly larger than Black Turnstone. Breeding adults have blackish upperparts spotted with white and chestnut, whitish underparts barred with black.

adult male, breeding

Ruddy Turnstone

8-10" (20-25 cm). A stocky shorebird with orange legs. Upperparts mainly rusty red in summer, brown in winter; underparts white.

adult, worn breeding plumage

Sanderling

8" (20 cm). A starling-sized shorebird with conspicuous white wing stripe. Summer adults have rufous head and breast, white belly.

adult, breeding

Dunlin

8 1/2" (22 cm). A starling-sized shorebird. Bill fairly long, with distinct droop at tip. Breeding adults have reddish back, whitish underparts, with black patch in center of belly.

adult male, breeding

Curlew Sandpiper

8" (20 cm). Similar in size and shape to Dunlin, but entire bill noticeably curved. Summer adults are rich cinnamon or chestnut. Winter birds gray above and white below.

adult, breeding

Stilt Sandpiper

8 1/2" (22 cm). A starling-sized sandpiper with long greenish legs and long bill, slightly down-curved at tip. Wings lack stripe. Breeding adult has chestnut head stripes and barring below.

adult, breeding Pribilof Islands

Rock Sandpiper

8-9" (20-23 cm). A small, rock-dwelling sandpiper. Winter birds plain slate-gray on head, breast, and upperparts; dark bill has pale base.

Willet

15" (38 cm). A large shorebird, gray-brown, with a long straight bill. Best identified in flight by its flashy black and white wing pattern.

Vireo

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