Migrating red knots feeding.

Nice butt shot on these. They were so busy feeding they didn’t even look up when people walked by them. Notice the tags on the back two birds.

It was nice to catch these birds in breeding colors. Soon they’ll be mostly beige.

This one saw me watching him. He barely paid attention.

Back to more feeding.

There were small groups of them feeding all over the Fort Desoto beach.

Red knots fly more than 9,000 miles from south to north every spring and repeat the trip in reverse every autumn, making this bird one of the longest-distance migrants of all animals. They are exhausted when they stop over on our beaches in Florida. That’s one of the main reasons the tourists shouldn’t let their kids (or dogs) chase birds. They need their rest and to feed to keep going. On a recent Sunday morning, I saw several small flocks of them feeding at the north beach. They probably feed early in the morning and nap in the afternoon when all of the tourist are out. If you see these beautiful shore birds on the beach, please give them some space.

7 thoughts on “Migrating red knots feeding.

  1. Great photos! I saw a group of them over on the east coast a few weeks ago, with one being banded. I reported the sighting to bandedbirds.org. They emailed me back a short time later with info on the bird. It had been banded on the southern tip of Chile in 2008. It had a different color flag than the one in your photo. I think its so interesting to find out history on the bird’s whereabouts:)

  2. Youve been posting some facemelting beach birds lately, Im impressed!

    Did you try to read the knots’ leg flags? The researchers who put those bands on would love to know when and where you saw those birds.

  3. Thanks everyone for the comments! One of the other birders I was with reported the birds. Two of the birds were banded in New Jersey. All three she reported had repeatedly been seen at Fort Desoto. The bird nerds that frequent the park are pretty neurotic about reporting any banded birds. Most of the ones we see are red knots and least terns and the occasional plover.

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