Red Knot

 Red knot banded

While walking on Kiawah’s beach, 9 year old Olivia Davidson, her mom and grandmother came across the remains of a shorebird. Upon closer inspection, they could see that the bird was banded. They brought the bird into the Heron Park Nature Center, where it was identified as a Red Knot (Calidris canutis).

Red Knots are medium-sized shorebirds. This time of year they are in the process of migrating from wintering grounds to the Arctic to breed. These birds may have flown more than 3,000 miles non-stop from South America to reach Kiawah, and are now trying to feed and rest to recover from their long journey. They also need to replenish their energy levels and fat stores so that they can continue another 1,500 or more miles up to the Arctic.

Town Biologists, Jim Jordan and Aaron Given, were able to input the bird’s band number into a database. It revealed that the bird was originally banded on October 24, 2006 in North Brigantine Natural Area, New Jersey. Amazingly, the next siting occurred on April 9, 2010 on Kiawah Island, additional resightings are listed below. Based on the condition of the bird, our Town Biologists believe it was most likely attacked by another bird, such as a Peregrine Falcon. 

Red Knots are an imperiled species and numbers have dropped substantially in the last 20 years. They are currently being evaluated for listing on the Federal Endangered Species List. By reporting this bird band, Olivia and family are helping research scientists across the globe learn more about Red Knots and their amazing migration.
4/9/2010 – Kiawah Island – Mid, South Carolina
10/27/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey
10/31/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey
11/6/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey
11/7/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey 
11/8/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey 
11/8/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey 
11/9/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey 
11/14/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey 
11/15/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey 
11/17/2011 – Avalon – North End, New Jersey 
11/22/2011 – Avalon, New Jersey
10/18/2012 – Stone Harbor Point, New Jersey 
10/25/2012 – Avalon, New Jersey
10/26/2012 – Avalon, New Jersey 
11/5/2012 – Avalon, New Jersey
11/6/2012 – Avalon, New Jersey 
10/16/2013 – Sea Isle City – North end of town, New Jersey


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2 Responses to Red Knot

  1. Joan Spira says:

    Thank you for taking an active interest in our discovery of the dead red knot on the beach. Our family is interested in the island wildlife and have spent years here. The stranding of the dolphins a couple of years ago was amazing and educational.
    I do have a question and/or comment about the alligator by the pool that was on the sidewalk and then moved to the grass near the path. You put up an orange fence and then took it down and put a bench in its place. Was this a safe decision. I avoided the path after I saw the bench. Maybe another sign there about alligators would be wise. Thank you again for the service you provide at the Nature Center.

    • Mike Vegis says:

      Thank you for your concern. This particular female is one we know well. She has lived behind the Nature Center for years, and we have had the pleasure of watching her mate and care for her young.

      After our cold winter, it was obvious our female was looking for a new basking area. For two days, she did try out the site near the bench that you mentioned. After which, she found a more favorable spot on the side of the pond near Sea Forest Drive. We presume she had chosen this new location because it was one of the few spots on that pond that provided her with full sun. This location did also pose concern for us, mainly because it can be disconcerting for bikers to have an alligator so close to the bike path. We did attempt to dissuade her from basking at this location by coaxing her back into the water on multiple occasions. Inevitably, she would turn right around and climb back onto the bank. We then consulted with the staff at the KICA Lakes department, and we both felt that creating a barricade to prevent people from accidently coming upon her was the best solution.

      We understand your comments, and as a result we have increased the signage alerting people to view from a distance. We are confident that once the weather warms up she will go back to her prior more secluded basking area, at which time the barricade will come down.

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