BIRDS OF ICELAND : Calidris canutus, Knot

Calidris canutus; the Knot is a migrant passage bird. In wintertime they stay along the western European coasts and the north-western coasts of Africa. They breed both in the arctic regions of Siberia and also on Greenland & the arctic islands of Canada. Populations of the latter use Iceland in spring to strengthen before the last lag to Greenland/Northern Canada. In autumn they stay on Iceland before returning to their winter grounds in the temparate and mediterenean/sub-tropical regions of Western-Europe and North-Western Africa. On Iceland they stay a few weeks both in spring and in autumn. They usually flock in large groups during the migration periods. Their breeding cloak is quite conspicuous: it is the only wader with a brown-red appearance. In their winter cloak they are though whitish-coloured much like the smaller sanderling. Some individuals can be found during summer (probably individuals which have returned from the high north which were unable to breed) as well as in winter(individuals "gambling" that the winter energy-balance is less costly than energy-cost of migration). Their main foraging areas are muddy-coasts, coastal salt marshes and sea-weed covered tidal-coasts.

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A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise

 Single bird.
 Many knots feeding on coastal marine seaweeds bank.
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 Single bird.
 Knots fedding in seaweed shore
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