Blog Archive: Shorebirds

Birdorable Red Knot

Good news for Red Knots

June 12th, 2012 in In the News, Shorebirds No comments

The New York Times reported last week that the number of Red Knots stopping at critical refueling grounds on the East Coast of the United States this year was double the number seen last year.

Red Knots on the beach

Each year, Red Knots migrate over 9,000 miles during their migration from South America to their breeding grounds in the Arctic Circle. Along the way, they stop at beaches of the East Coast to feed on horseshoe crab eggs to fuel their remaining journey. Legislation protecting horseshoe crabs has probably contributed to the good number of Red Knots found this year. The population of the American subspecies of the Red Knot has been in steep decline; hopefully this year's bounty is a good sign towards recovery! The Red Knot is one of our 378 cute Birdorable birds. We have commemorated the special relationship between the knots and horseshoe crabs with two unique designs. Check them out: Crab-Knot Cycle and Horseshoe Crabs are Life. The small blue blobs making shapes in each design represent horseshoe crab eggs!

Red Knot Gifts

You can learn more about the Red Knot from Cornell's All About Birds website: Red Knot. Hat tip to the ABA Blog for this story.


Birdorable Eurasian Curlew

10 Facts about the Eurasian Curlew

December 19th, 2011 in New Birds, Shorebirds 6 comments
Birdorable Eurasian Curlew

Here are ten facts about the Eurasian Curlew:

  • The Eurasian Curlew is the largest wading bird found in Europe;
  • In Scotland it is known as the "Whaup";
  • The birds can be found from central and southern Europe and Asia to parts of Africa;
  • Curlews are migratory, but are present all year in the milder climate of the British Isles and the adjacent European coasts;
  • Within its range the Curlew is most similar to the Whimbrel, but the latter is smaller and has a shorter bill that is less smoothly curved;
  • They eat mostly worms, crabs and invertebrates, which they find by touch using their long curved bill to probe soft mud;
  • Its name is derived from its 'curloo-oo' call;
  • The female is larger and has a longer bill than the male, but the different is not always distinct;
  • A group of curlews is called a "curfew", "salon", or "skein" of curlews;
  • The species is threatened due to loss and fragmentation of moorland and grassland habitats.

The Eurasian Curlew is the 360th bird species on Birdorable. Check out our Curlew t-shirts and gifts and other Birdorable Plovers & Shorebirds.

Birdorable Eurasian Curlew sample products
Birdorable Red Knot

Bonanza Bird #5: Red Knot

November 22nd, 2011 in Shorebirds, Birdorable Bonanza 2011 2 comments
Birdorable Red Knot

For 19 days we're adding a new Birdorable bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2011. We're counting up to revealing our 350th species! Today's bird is the Red Knot.

Red Knot
Red Knot by U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Northeast Region

Red Knots are widespread shorebirds known for their long-distance migration. They breed across tundra habitat in Canada, Europe and Russia; winters are spent along coastal Africa and South America, among others. Red Knots in the Americas are known to rely on horseshoe crab eggs as an important nutrition source during their northward migration. Excessive crab harvesting in recent decades has contributed to the rapid decline of the American Red Knot subspecies, which are currently considered endangered.

Birdorable Red Knot T-shirt & gifts

Tomorrow's bird is a small migratory bird that in summer has a yellow and black head with a bright orange throat. Can you guess what it will be?

Birdorable Bonanza Preview
Birdorable Black-winged Stilt

Baby Birdorable: Black-winged Stilt

June 6th, 2011 in Baby Birds, Shorebirds 2 comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the Black-winged Stilt. Black-winged Stilts are shorebirds that live across much of Europe, Africa and Asia. Stilt nests are bare scrapes on the ground, close to water. Baby stilts are precocial, meaning they are able to feed on their own very shortly after hatching.

Black-winged stilt and chick II
Black-winged stilt and chick II by Neil Saunders
Umbrella by CharlesLam
Yawn ! I'm full.
Yawn ! I'm full. by coniferconifer
I am cute?
I am cute? by venus8554
Baby of Black-winged Stilt
Baby of Black-winged Stilt by coniferconifer

Pretty cute, right? Be sure to check out our Birdorable Black-winged Stilt t-shirts and gifts!

Birdorable American Avocet

Baby Birdorable: American Avocet

September 10th, 2010 in Baby Birds, Shorebirds No comments

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr) of the American Avocet. American Avocets are ground nesters, laying their eggs in a simple scrape which may be lined with grass or other materials. 3-4 eggs are laid; chicks are downy and able to walk shortly after hatching.

American Avocet Chick
American Avocet Chick by rigger908
Adult American Avocet Sheltering Chicks
Adult American Avocet Sheltering Chicks by ingridtaylar
Avocet Family
Avocet Family by copeg
American Avocet with Chicks
American Avocet with Chicks by USFWS Malheur
Baby Avocet with Reflection 3
Baby Avocet with Reflection 3 by Flight shots
American Avocet Chick
American Avocet Chick by jsutton8

Pretty cute, right? Be sure to check out our (adult) Birdorable American Avocet t-shirts & gifts!

Birdorable Black-winged Stilt

Singled-out Stilts

August 9th, 2010 in Shorebirds 1 comment

The Black-winged Stilt is a long-legged wading bird. The species is very closely related to the Black-necked Stilt and five other species of stilt.

Black-winged Stilt ~ 長腳鷸Black-winged Stilt by Sun Jack

In fact, scientists are in disagreement as to the classification of the five as separate species. Are they all subspecies of the Common Stilt? Or is each species independent of the other? For now, the Black-winged Stilt and the Black-necked Stilt will remain separated here at Birdorable.

Birdorable Stilts