Red Knot

About the Red Knot

Also known as: Knot

The Red Knot is a long-distant migrant shorebird. They breed in the tundra of northern Canada, Europe, and Russia. After breeding, most Red Knots migrate to wintering grounds on the coasts of Africa, South America, and Australia.

Due to their epic migration, Red Knots feed on a wide variety of foods depending on the time of year and their location. On their tundra breeding grounds, they feed on insects and larvae, while small mollusks are a common food at other times of year. Red Knots in the Americas famously depend on the spawning of horseshoe crabs across parts of eastern North America (especially Delaware Bay) during their northward migration. The birds fuel up on the eggs; the Red Knot's threatened status is tied to excessive crab harvesting by humans.

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Details & Statistics

Added to Birdorable
Hatched on 22 November 2011
Scientific Name
Calidris canutus
  • Charadriiformes
  • Scolopacidae
  • Calidris
  • C. canutus
Birdorable Family
Conservation Status
Near Threatened (as of 7 April 2020)
  • Least Concern (LC)
  • Near Threatened (NT)
  • Vulnerable (VU)
  • Endangered (EN)
  • Critically Endangered (CR)
  • Extinct in the Wild (EW)
  • Extinct (EX)
Source: IUCN Red List
Units: Imperial / Metric
9 to 10 inches
18.5 to 21 inches



From IUCN Red List:
The Red Knot is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2015 by BirdLife International. This species has been uplisted to Near Threatened as it almost meets the requirements for listing as threatened under criteria A2abc+3bc+4abc. It has an extremely large range and six subpopulations across which trends are variable. The population trend of the largest subpopulation, islandica, is unclear as is the trend of roselaari. The rufa and canutus subpopulations have both experienced population declines. Two subpopulations use the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and have experienced significant declines owing to loss of habitat in the Yellow Sea. Should new research resolve uncertainties in the trends of several of these subpopulations the species may warrant uplisting or downlisting.

International Names

Brazilian (Português brasileiro) Maçarico-de-papo-vermelho
Czech (Cesky) jespák rezavý
Danish (Dansk) Islandsk Ryle
Dutch (Nederlands) Kanoetstrandloper
Finnish (Suomi) isosirri
French (Français) Bécasseau maubèche
German (Deutsch) Knutt
Italian (Italiano) Pivanello maggiore
Japanese (日本語) コオバシギ (koobashigi)
Norwegian (Norsk) Polarsnipe
Polish (Polski) biegus rdzawy
Spanish (Español) Correlimos Gordo
Swedish (Svenska) Kustsnäppa
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