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Red Knot

Red Knot
Photo Information
Copyright: Pekka Valo (pekkavalo1) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 423 W: 54 N: 2120] (6789)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 400mm f4.0 DO IS USM, RAW ISO 800, Canon EF 2x Extender II
Exposure: f/11, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-08-28 10:02
Viewed: 4133
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
An adult Red Knot already in Winter plumage feeding at Yyteri mudflats an important spot for migrating waders in the West coast of Finland. The only way to get close to these birds in this location was to start wading yourself in the 20-30 cm deep mud.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Red Knot, Calidris canutus (just Knot in Europe), is a medium sized shorebird which breeds in tundra and the Arctic Cordillera in the far north of Canada, Europe, and Russia.

Birds bred in north America migrate to coastal areas in Europe and South America, while birds bred in Europe migrate to Africa, Papua New Guinea, Australia and New Zealand. This species forms enormous flocks in winter.

This species was first described by Linnaeus in his Systema naturae in 1758 as Tringa canutus. It is sometimes said that the Red Knot gets its name from King Cnut, but there is no factual basis for this story. A more likely etymology is that the name is onomatopoeic, based on the bird's grunting call note.

There are six subspecies, in order of size;

C. c. roselaari (largest)
C. c. rufa
C. c. canutus
C. c. islandica
C. c. rogersi
C. c. piersmai (smallest)

The Red Knot nests on the ground, near water, and usually inland. The female lays 3 to 4 eggs in a shallow scrape lined with leaves and moss. Both parents incubate the eggs, but the female leaves before the young fledge. After the young have fledged the male begins his migration south and the young make their first migration on their own.

On the breeding grounds, Knots eat mostly spiders, arthropods, and larvae obtained by surface pecking, and on the wintering grounds they eat a variety of hard-shelled prey such as bivalves, gastropods and small crabs that are ingested whole and crushed by a muscular stomach.

An adult Red Knot is 23-26 cm long with a 47-53 cm wingspan. It has short dark legs and a medium thin dark bill. The body is mottled grey on top with a cinnamon face, throat and breast and light-coloured rear belly. In winter the plumage becomes uniformly pale grey. canutus, islandica and piersmai are the “darker” subspecies. rogersi has a lighter belly than either roselaari or piersmai, and rufa is the lightest in overall plumage.

The weight varies with subspecies, but is between 100 and 200 g. Red Knots can double their weight prior to migration.

The Red Knot has an extensive range, estimated at 0.1–1.0 million square kilometres (0.04–0.38 million square miles), and a large population of about 1.1 million individuals. The species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations), and is therefore evaluated as Least Concern.

C. c. canutus and C. c. islandica are among the subspecies to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

siggi, nglen, gannu, Jamesp, jaycee, uleko, Silvio2006, rousettus has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To joey: Greetings from Finland!pekkavalo1 1 08-29 09:47
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-08-28 10:37]

Hello Peka,
Perfect clarity and sharpness with interesting diagonal composition!
Very good exposure and focus as a whole
well done and well seen.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-08-28 12:02]

Hi Pekka. Your lens and extender brings the bird in so close. I like the refelection in the water . You have captured the markings in the fetahers so well. with natural oclours. well done TFS. good notes too.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-08-28 14:22]
  • [+]

Hi Pekka,
a great photo of this Red Knot.
Superb sharpness and clarity.
Well composed and exposed.
I like the reflection too.

Well done,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-08-29 3:20]

Hello Pekka, Long and nice note. Excellent shot with superb natural sorrounding. Well done. Ganesh

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-08-29 14:20]

Hi Pekka

Superb low POV - great reflection with excellent pose and detail.


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-08-29 16:44]

Hi Pekka,

I'm glad you were willing to wade through the muddy water to get this shot and I am able to see a Red Knot. A very handsome bird with a lovely face and plummage. Wonderfully sharp details and a nice pose. A marvelous natural setting.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-08-30 4:40]

Hello Pekka,
Great focus on this little beauty running along in the mud. Sharp details and fine natural colours with a nice reflection in the water. Well done!
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hello Pekka,
I am interested in wader birds always. This is one of the best. You captured it with a great shot. Great sharp details, POV/DOF and composition. Reflection also very nice. TFS, best wishes

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-08-31 5:31]

Hello Pekka, perfect nature shot, abeautiful bird in its environment, lovely composition, great technique, thanks!


Ciao Pekka, elegant bird with beautiful plumage, fine details and great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

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