Calidris canutus - (Linnaeus, 1758)
Red Knot
Other Common Names: Ruiva, Maçarico-de-Papo-Vermelho
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Calidris canutus (Linnaeus, 1758) (TSN 176642)
French Common Names: bécasseau maubèche
Spanish Common Names: Playero Canuto, Playero Árctico
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.100057
Element Code: ABNNF11020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Vertebrates - Birds - Shorebirds
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Craniata Aves Charadriiformes Scolopacidae Calidris
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: American Ornithologists' Union (AOU). 1998. Check-list of North American birds. Seventh edition. American Ornithologists' Union, Washington, D.C. [as modified by subsequent supplements and corrections published in The Auk]. Also available online: http://www.aou.org/.
Concept Reference Code: B98AOU01NAUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Calidris canutus
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G4
Global Status Last Reviewed: 07Apr2016
Global Status Last Changed: 04Oct2005
Ranking Methodology Used: Ranked by inspection
Rounded Global Status: G4 - Apparently Secure
Reasons: This bird's population is declining but its numbers are still in the 100,000s
Nation: United States
National Status: N2N3B,N3N (19Mar1997)
Nation: Canada
National Status: N2B,N2M (01Dec2017)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (S2N), Alaska (S2S3B), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNRN), Colorado (SNA), Connecticut (SNA), Delaware (S1M), District of Columbia (S1N), Florida (S4N), Georgia (S3N), Illinois (SNA), Indiana (SNA), Kansas (SNA), Kentucky (SNA), Louisiana (S2N), Maine (S3N), Maryland (SNA), Massachusetts (S2N), Michigan (SNRN), Minnesota (SNRM), Mississippi (S2N), Missouri (SNA), Nebraska (SNRN), New Hampshire (SNA), New Jersey (S1N), New York (SNRN), North Carolina (S2N), North Dakota (SNA), Ohio (SNA), Oklahoma (S1N), Oregon (SNA), Pennsylvania (SNA), Rhode Island (S3N), South Carolina (SNRN), South Dakota (SNA), Tennessee (S2N), Texas (S3N), Utah (SNA), Virginia (S2N), Washington (S3N), Wisconsin (S1N), Wyoming (S4N)
Canada Alberta (SUM), British Columbia (S1S2M), Labrador (S2M), Manitoba (SNA), New Brunswick (SNRM), Newfoundland Island (S2M), Northwest Territories (S1S2B), Nova Scotia (SNRM), Nunavut (S2B,S2M), Ontario (S1N), Prince Edward Island (SNRN), Quebec (S1M), Saskatchewan (S2M)

Other Statuses

Implied Status under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): PS:LT
Comments on USESA: Subspecies rufa is listed threatened (Federal Register, 11 Dec. 2014). USFWS (2011) found listing subspecies roselaari to not be warranted.
Implied Status under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC):PS:E,T,SC
Comments on COSEWIC: Subspecies rufa is Endangered, Calidris canutus pop. 1 is Threatened and subspecies islandica is Special Concern.
IUCN Red List Category: NT - Near threatened

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: >2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Nesting range in North America is in northwestern and northern Alaska, and Canadian arctic islands east to Ellesmere and south to southern Victoria and Southhampton islands, probably also on Adelaide Peninsula and Mansel Island; nesting also occurs in the northern Palearctic.

During the boreal winter, the range in the New World extends mainly from coastal regions of southern California, Gulf Coast and Massachusetts south to Tierra del Fuego; generally rare north of southern South America; major South American nonbreeding areas are Tierra del Fuego and Patagonian coast of Argentina, especially Bahia Lomas (Morrison and Ross 1989). New World red knots principally occupy two areas: about 100,000 birds along Atlantic coast of southern Argentina, about 10,000 along Florida Gulf Coast, with no evidence of interchange between the 2 groups (Harrington et al. 1988). In the Old World, most red knots are in southern Europe, southern Asia, Africa, and the Australasian region during the boreal winter.

Nonbreeders occasionally summer in the winter range.

Delaware Bay is the most important spring migration stopover in the eastern United States (Clark et al. 1993, Botton et al. 1994).

Area of Occupancy: >12,500 4-km2 grid cells
Area of Occupancy Comments: Home range sizes ranged from about 1.5 to 2.0 pairs per square kilometer for the islandica subspecies (Baker, et. al. 2013).

Number of Occurrences: > 300
Number of Occurrences Comments: The global population estimate is greater than one million individuals. There should be at least 300 EOs with those population numbers (Birdlife International, 2014).

Population Size: >1,000,000 individuals
Population Size Comments: Recent global estimate of greater than 1,100,000 individuals (Birdlife International, 2014) Global population estimated to be 1,291,000 individuals (Rose and Scott 1997); North American portion is thought to be on the order of 400,000 (Morrison et al. 2001).

See also information for subspecies rufa.

Number of Occurrences with Good Viability/Integrity: Many to very many (41 to >125)
Viability/Integrity Comments: With an estimated global population of over one million individuals (Birdlife International, 2014), there should be a minimum of 41 or more element occurrences with good viability

Overall Threat Impact: High
Overall Threat Impact Comments: Increased commercial harvest of horseshoe crabs (for use as bait in eel and conch fisheries; especially in the Delaware Bay region in the 1990s; Walls et al. 2002, Morrison et al. 2004), a reduction in horseshoe crab populations, and a consequent reduction in red knot food resources (horseshoe crab eggs), body condition during spring migration, and annual survival (Baker et al. 2004) are major concerns for population that migrate along the U.S. Atlantic coast (Gonz lez et al. 2006, Niles et al. 2007).

Actions to conserve horseshoe crabs have included reduced harvest quotas, more efficient use of crabs as bait, closure of the harvest in certain seasons and places, and the designation of a sanctuary off the mouth of Delaware Bay (Niles et al. 2007). The latest information is that the crab population may have stabilized, but there is no evidence of recovery (Niles et al. 2007).

Short-term Trend: Decline of <30% to relatively stable
Short-term Trend Comments: The overall population trend is decreasing, although some populations may be stable and others have unknown trends (Birdlife International, 2014).

Long-term Trend: Decline of <50% to increase of <25%
Long-term Trend Comments: Population trend estimates at Delaware Bay and eastern Canadian migration stopover sites for subspecies rufa have been consistently negative over the past several decades, though some of the decline data were not statistically significant (Howe et al. 1989, Clark et al. 1993, Morrison et al. 1994, Morrison, Aubry et al. 2001).

Recent population surveys showed a dramatic decline of the population that winters primarily in South America (main wintering areas on the coasts of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, Argentina and Chile, corresponding with subspecies rufa, which comprises a portion of the North American nesting population) (Gonz lez et al. 2004, Morrison et al. 2004). Totals in 2003 were about 30,000 compared to 67,500 in the mid-1980s. Numbers at the principal wintering site, Bahia Lomas, fell by approximately 50%, from 45,300 in 2000 to 22,000-25,000 in 2002-2003. Numbers at peripheral sites on the coast of Patagonia declined dramatically, decreasing 98% compared to numbers in the mid-1980s. The declines at core sites did not result from a shift of birds within the known wintering (or other) areas, but reflected a general population decline, with most birds now restricted to key sites in Tierra del Fuego (Morrison et al. 2004). These data do not include red knot populations that nest: (1) in the northeastern Canadian arctic (i.e., Queen Elizabeth Islands, Ellesmere Island) or Greenland, which winter in the Old World (C. c. islandica), (2) in northwestern Alaska and Wrangel Island (subspecies roselaari; winter range poorly documented, may include the Pacific coasts of North, Central, and South America, the northern tropical Atlantic coast of South America, the Texas coast, and Florida), or (3) in the Palearctic.

Subspecies roselaari breeds in Alaska and is presumed to include those knots that winter on the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Mexico (Niles et al. 2007). Two other red knot wintering populations of uncertain subspecific status exist in the Western Hemisphere: one in the southeastern United States (about 7,000 birds) and one on the north coast of Brazil (about 7,500 birds); these populations apparently have not suffered the same catastrophic decline as has occurred in the rufa population that winters in Tierra del Fuego (Niles et al. 2007).

Calidris c. islandica populations increased from the late 1970s until 2000; steep decrease since 2000 (Delany and Scott 2002).

Use of Massachusetts Bay as a migration stop evidently has declined from the historical situation (Harrington 2001).

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Moderately vulnerable
Intrinsic Vulnerability Comments: This species is a full long-distance migrant that utilizes only a few stopover sites or staging area, making it vulnerable to disturbances and modifications at those specific sites (Birdlife International, 2014)

Environmental Specificity: Moderate. Generalist or community with some key requirements scarce.
Environmental Specificity Comments: Typical shorebird requirements of nesting in the high Arctic and use of relatively undisturbed sandy beaches and tidal flats during the winter season

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Inventory Needs: More effort is needed to locate other wintering populations of this bird in South America.

Protection Needs: Protect the wintering and migration sites that are important to all the various subspecies of this bird.

Distribution
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Global Range: (>2,500,000 square km (greater than 1,000,000 square miles)) Nesting range in North America is in northwestern and northern Alaska, and Canadian arctic islands east to Ellesmere and south to southern Victoria and Southhampton islands, probably also on Adelaide Peninsula and Mansel Island; nesting also occurs in the northern Palearctic.

During the boreal winter, the range in the New World extends mainly from coastal regions of southern California, Gulf Coast and Massachusetts south to Tierra del Fuego; generally rare north of southern South America; major South American nonbreeding areas are Tierra del Fuego and Patagonian coast of Argentina, especially Bahia Lomas (Morrison and Ross 1989). New World red knots principally occupy two areas: about 100,000 birds along Atlantic coast of southern Argentina, about 10,000 along Florida Gulf Coast, with no evidence of interchange between the 2 groups (Harrington et al. 1988). In the Old World, most red knots are in southern Europe, southern Asia, Africa, and the Australasian region during the boreal winter.

Nonbreeders occasionally summer in the winter range.

Delaware Bay is the most important spring migration stopover in the eastern United States (Clark et al. 1993, Botton et al. 1994).

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The maps for birds represent the breeding status by state and province. In some jurisdictions, the subnational statuses for common species have not been assessed and the status is shown as not-assessed (SNR). In some jurisdictions, the subnational status refers to the status as a non-breeder; these errors will be corrected in future versions of these maps. A species is not shown in a jurisdiction if it is not known to breed in the jurisdiction or if it occurs only accidentally or casually in the jurisdiction. Thus, the species may occur in a jurisdiction as a seasonal non-breeding resident or as a migratory transient but this will not be indicated on these maps. See other maps on this web site that depict the Western Hemisphere ranges of these species at all seasons of the year.
Endemism: occurs (regularly, as a native taxon) in multiple nations

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States AK, AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WY
Canada AB, BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, QC, SK

Range Map
Note: Range depicted for New World only. The scale of the maps may cause narrow coastal ranges or ranges on small islands not to appear. Not all vagrant or small disjunct occurrences are depicted. For migratory birds, some individuals occur outside of the passage migrant range depicted. For information on how to obtain shapefiles of species ranges see our Species Mapping pages at www.natureserve.org/conservation-tools/data-maps-tools.

Range Map Compilers: NatureServe, 2002; WILDSPACETM 2002


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
AK Nome (CA) (02180), North Slope (02185), Northwest Arctic (02188), Valdez-Cordova (CA) (02261), Wade Hampton (CA) (02270), Yakutat (02282)
GA Chatham (13051), Glynn (13127), Liberty (13179), Mcintosh (13191)
ID Bannock (16005), Bingham (16011), Fremont (16043), Power (16077)
LA Jefferson (22051), Lafourche (22057), Plaquemines (22075), St. Bernard (22087), Terrebonne (22109)
MA Barnstable (25001), Essex (25009)*, Plymouth (25023)*
MS Hancock (28045), Harrison (28047), Jackson (28059)
NC Onslow (37133)
NJ Atlantic (34001), Cape May (34009), Cumberland (34011), Monmouth (34025), Ocean (34029)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
01 Merrimack (01070002)+*, Cape Cod (01090002)+
02 Sandy Hook-Staten Island (02030104)+, Cohansey-Maurice (02040206)+, Mullica-Toms (02040301)+, Great Egg Harbor (02040302)+
03 White Oak River (03020301)+, New River (03020302)+, Lower Savannah (03060109)+, Ogeechee Coastal (03060204)+, Altamaha (03070106)+, Cumberland-St. Simons (03070203)+, Pascagoula (03170006)+, Mississippi Coastal (03170009)+, Lower Pearl. Mississippi (03180004)+
08 Eastern Louisiana Coastal (08090203)+, East Central Louisiana Coastal (08090301)+, West Central Louisiana Coastal (08090302)+
17 Upper Henrys (17040202)+, American Falls (17040206)+, Portneuf (17040208)+
19 Yakutat Bay (19010401)+, Lower Copper River (19020104)+, Yukon Delta (19040805)+, Nome (19050104)+, Imuruk Basin (19050105)+, Shishmaref (19050201)+*, Goodhope-Spafarief Bay (19050202)+*, Lower Noatak River (19050403)+, Wulik-Kivalina Rivers (19050404)+, Lisburne Peninsula (19050405)+*, Kotzebue Sound (19050500)+, Kukpowruk River (19060101)+, Northwest Coast (19060202)+*
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A bird (sandpiper).
Reproduction Comments: Lays clutch of usually 4 eggs, June-July. Incubation lasts about 20-25 days, by both sexes. Young are tended mostly by male (female leaves before fledging), leave nest soon after hatching, can fly at about 18 days (Terres 1980).
Ecology Comments: Nonbreeding: usually in compact flocks.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: Y
Mobility and Migration Comments: Red knots migrate long distances between nesting areas in mid- and high arctic latitudes and southern nonbreeding habitats as far north as the coastal United States (low numbers) and southward to southern South America, and to southern Asia, Africa, and Australasian region. Subspecies rufa migrates from nesting areas in the central Canadian Arctic to wintering grounds at the southern tip of South America.. Subspecies islandica breeds in the northeastern Canadian High Arctic and Greenland and migrates to wintering areas in Europe. Subspecies roselaari breeds in Alaska and on Wrangel Island and is thought to comprise the population wintering in Florida and on coastlines of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and northern South America (Piersma and Davidson 1992, Harrington 2001).

Red knots migrate in large flocks northward through the contiguous United States mainly April-June, southward July-October (Bent 1927). Arrival in breeding areas occurs in late May or early June; most have departed breeding areas by mid-August. The species is more abundant in migration along the U.S. Atlantic coast than on the Pacific coast. Knots that visit Delaware Bay in spring come mostly from South America, and these have strong fidelity to migration stopover sites; those that winter in Florida are underrepresented during migration in New Jersey and Massachusetts. Migration through Costa Rica occurs late August-October and mainly mid-March to late April (Stiles and Skutch 1989). This species typically makes long flights between stops (Hayman et al. 1986). See Piersma and Davidson (1992) for information on knot migration.

Estuarine Habitat(s): Herbaceous wetland, Tidal flat/shore
Terrestrial Habitat(s): Sand/dune, Tundra
Habitat Comments: Primarily seacoasts on tidal flats and beaches, less frequently in marshes and flooded fields (AOU 1983). On sandy or pebbly beaches, especially at river mouths; feeds on mudflats, loafs and sleeps on salinas and salt-pond dikes (Costa Rica, Stiles and Skutch 1989). Nests on ground in barren or stony tundra and in well-vegetated moist tundra.
Adult Food Habits: Invertivore
Immature Food Habits: Invertivore
Food Comments: Eats mainly mollusks, eggs of crab and horseshoe crab, insects, some seeds and small fishes; pecks and snatches at sand or mud, or probes. Horseshoe crab eggs are an important source of food for north-bound migrants at Delaware Bay (Botton et al. 1994).
Adult Phenology: Circadian
Immature Phenology: Circadian
Phenology Comments: See Robert et al. (1989).
Length: 27 centimeters
Weight: 148 grams
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary
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Stewardship Overview: See information for subspecies rufa.
Biological Research Needs: Demographic modeling of wintering birds is needed in the other subspecies of canuta besides just rufa (Baker, et. al. 2013).
Population/Occurrence Delineation
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Group Name: Shorebirds

Use Class: Breeding
Subtype(s): Feeding Area, Breeding Site
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of historical breeding, or current and likely recurring breeding, at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of one or more breeding pairs in appropriate habitat. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single breeding events outside the normal breeding distribution.
Mapping Guidance: Breeding occurrences include nesting areas as well as foraging areas of nesting adults and broods. Because separations are based on nesting areas, the foraging areas of different occurrences may overlap if nesting birds are traveling to distant places to feed.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance pertains specifically to nesting areas, not to locations of dispersed foraging individuals. For example, nesting areas separated by a gap of more than 5 km are different occurrences, regardless of the foraging locations of individuals from those nesting areas.

The separation distance is an arbitrary value; it is impractical to attempt to delineate shorebird occurrences on the basis of dispersal patterns or metapopulation dynamics. Foraging ranges of some nesting shorebird species (see following) may suggest use of a larger separation distance, but this likely would result in occurrences that are too large and less effective for conservation planning.

Separation distance based on larger 'typical' breeding home ranges with diameters of 1.5 to 3 kilometers. Semipalmated Plovers have breeding home ranges up to 3 square kilometers, i.e. a diameter of just under 2 kilometers (Nol and Blanken 1999). Red-necked Phalaropes have a core home range of 1-3 hectares, but occasionally travel 1.5 kilometers to feed (Rubega et al. 2000). Stilt Sandpipers can forage up to 8 kilometers from nest (Jehl 1973). Mountain Plovers have an average home range of 56.6 hectares (Knopf 1996) but broods typically move 1-2 kilometers shortly after hatching (Knopf and Rupert 1996).

Territories: Common Snipe, 6.4-28.6 hectares (Mueller 1999); Long-billed Dowitcher, 100-300 meter diameter (Johnsgard 1981); golden-plovers, average 10-59 hectares (Johnson and Connors 1996); Long-billed Curlew, 6-20 hectares (Johnsgard 1981).

Nesting densities: Black-bellied Plover, 0.3-2.3 pairs per square kilometer (44 ha per pair at latter density; Hussell and Page 1976, Parmelee et al. 1967); Marbled Godwit, maximum density 1 pair/32 hectares (Stewart and Kantrud 1972).

Foraging distances: Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs, up to 13 kilometers from nest (Elphick and Tibbits 1998, Tibbits and Moskoff 1999).

Inferred Minimum Extent of Habitat Use (when actual extent is unknown): 1.5 km
Inferred Minimum Extent Justification: Based on a smaller 'typical' home ranges (see Separation Justification).
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: Hammerson, G., and S. Cannings

Use Class: Migratory stopover
Subtype(s): Roost, Foraging concentration area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of migrating flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat (minimum can be reduced in the case of rarer species). Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 7 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 15Apr2002
Author: Cannings, S.

Use Class: Nonbreeding
Subtype(s): Roost, Winter Feeding Area
Minimum Criteria for an Occurrence: Evidence of recurring presence of wintering flocks (including historical); and potential recurring presence at a given location, minimally a reliable observation of 25 birds in appropriate habitat. Occurrences should be locations where the species is resident for some time during the appropriate season; it is preferable to have observations documenting presence over at least 20 days annually. Be cautious about creating EOs for observations that may represent single events.
Separation Barriers: None.
Separation Distance for Unsuitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Distance for Suitable Habitat: 5 km
Separation Justification: Separation distance somewhat arbitrary; set at 5 kilometers to define occurrences of managable size for conservation purposes. Occurrences defined primarily on the basis of areas supporting concentrations of foraging or roosting birds, rather than on the basis of distinct populations.
Date: 25Mar2004
Author: S. Cannings
Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 14Aug2014
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Hammerson, G.
Element Ecology & Life History Edition Date: 24Feb2009
Element Ecology & Life History Author(s): Hammerson, G.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Alabama Ornithological Society. 2006. Field checklist of Alabama birds. Alabama Ornithological Society, Dauphin Island, Alabama. [Available online at http://www.aosbirds.org/documents/AOSChecklist_april2006.pdf ]

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  • Baker, Allan, Patricia Gonzalez, R.I.G. Morrison, and Brian A. Harrington.  2013.  Red Knot (Calidris canutus).  The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.).  Ithaca:  Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online:  http://bna.birds.cornell.edu.bnaproxy.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/563a/doi:10.2173/bna.563.

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