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© Copyright: Images: Jari Peltomäki. Recording: Jan-Erik Bruun. All rights reserved.

Knot

Calidris canutus

  • Name also: Red Knot
  • Family: Sandpipers – Scolopacidae
  • Appearance: A stocky, relatively short-legged wader with a straight and comparatively short bill. White wing stripe prominent on birds in flight. Rump pale grey. Mature birds have rust-coloured underparts, juveniles are more uniformly grey.
  • Size: Length 23–26 cm, wingspan 47–53 cm, weight 98–122 g.
  • Nest: In a shallow hollow among low tundra vegetation.
  • Breeding: 4 eggs laid in June, incubated by both parents for 21–22 days. Fledglings leave nest soon after hatching and quickly learn to find food for themselves. They learn to fly within 18–20 days.
  • Distribution: Breeds along arctic coasts, a regular visitor to Finland during migration.
  • Migration: Mainly nocturnal. Adults migrate between July and September, juveniles fly south later, between mid August and the end of September. Birds return north May–June, with the greatest numbers passing through Finland in early June. Winters around the North Sea and along tidal coasts in Western Europe, sometimes in very large flocks.
  • Diet: In summer invertebrates and parts of plants, in winter mainly gastropod molluscs (Littorina and Hydrobia).
  • Calls: A soft, low “wek-wek”.
  • Endangerment: Globally Near threatened.

The sturdily built Knot is the largest of the Calidris sandpipers found in Finland. In their breeding plumage, Knots have bright rust-coloured underparts and reddish brown upper parts with black, grey and white patterning. They can best be distinguished from the similarly coloured Curlew Sandpiper by their larger size, their shorter, straight bills, and their shorter legs.

Juvenile Knots have grey upper parts with thin-lined paler patterning, and paler underparts. Their flanks have indistinct speckles. In all plumages a distinctive pale wing stripe and a pale rump are good distinguishing features. Knots’ legs are black during the breeding season but otherwise grey-green. Their beaks are black and their irises are brown.

Other species from the same genus
Other species from the same family

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