Red Knot | Calidris canutus

Roberts Birding Information: Red Knot

The Red Knot is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Red Knot (Latin name Calidris canutus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Calidris canutus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 271 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 362. You will find a picture of the Red Knot on page 369.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Common Knot in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Red Knot between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Red Knot has a height of 24 cms and weighs around 130 gms. The head is coloured black, red while the bill is coloured black. The Calidris canutus has a red, chestnut coloured throat, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is black, red.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is black.

Legs are black.

Throat is red, chestnut.

Back is grey.

Red Knot Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird is a nocturnal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that's when the prey comes out in the open.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Red Knot Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

You can see the Red Knot bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.