Monday, 25 July 2016

Red Red Knot

Red Knot in Breeding plumage

No bird epitomizes the drastic change that takes place in birds during breeding season than the Red Knot (Calidris canutus) .  This bird completely transforms from a drab grey and white, its non-breeding colour seen during the months of September to April, into a fiery reddish colour plumage during its breeding season which is during the months of May to August.  The two times I have seen this bird here in Barbados was first in 2014 in the month of November and 2015 in the month of September, both in its non-breeding plumage, but for the first time on our shores, I was privileged to see one in breeding plumage.
Red Knot in non-breeding plumage
The red knot is a medium-sized shorebird measuring 9 to 10 inches.  It breeds in the Canadian Arctic and winters in South America.  Red Knots are one of the many shorebirds whose population is in decline because of loss of habitat, climate change, human developments and over harvesting of its main food source, Horse-shoe Crabs.  This caused it to receive special protection as a threatened species and put efforts in motion to stop the decline.  Let us hope that all efforts to save these birds are successful.