Red knots are found on beaches and tidal flats of Florida during migration and through the winter. These birds make one of the longest migrations of any bird, traveling from breeding grounds in the Arctic to Tierra del Fuego at the southernmost tip of South America.
The largest of the peeps at 23-25 cm (9-10 in.) in length with a wingspan of 52-56 cm (20-22 in.), red knots have a relatively short, straight black bill and dull yellowish-olive legs, lighter in juveniles and darker in adults. Basic winter plumage consists of shades of gray. Breeding plumage exhibits red on the head, neck and breast plus a darker gray (than in winter) back with rust-colored spots.
Large numbers of Calidris canutus visit Delaware Bay between Delaware and New Jersey during the migration south to feed on the eggs of horseshoe crabs. Recent (since the early 1990's) commercial harvesting of horseshoe crabs has reduced populations, seriously threatening the future of red knots.
Calidris canutus is a member of the Scolopacidae - Sandpipers, Snipes, and relatives family.
Other species of the Calidris genus in the Wild Florida Photo database:
Calidris alba - SANDERLING
Calidris alpina - DUNLIN
Calidris minutilla - LEAST SANDPIPER
For more information on this species, visit the following link:
Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds page for this species
Date record last modified: Nov 11, 2018