Great Knot    Calidris tenuirostris


  • Calidris : Greek word kalidris- grey-coloured waterside bird
  • Tenuirostris : Latin word tenuis – slender; rostris -billed

 Vernacular Names:  Mal: Kizhakkan knot, Guj: Moto khichdiyo, Ta: Peria maduvoo, Mar: Motha Jalaranka

Distribution in India: Winter Visitor to coasts of India. (Jamnagar is a good place to see it)

Description: Size of 26-28 cm, wt. of 115–248 g, wingspan of 56–66 cm. It is the largest Calidris. The breast and flanks are heavily spotted black; scapulars with large chestnut spots and blackish tips and uppertail-coverts are white. Has a long bill.  The female has less chestnut in scapulars. The non-­breeding adult has paler grey upperparts and breast. The upperparts, head and neck are finely streaked dark grey. The breast is streaked, flanks lightly streaked; faint white wingbar; white rump and uppertail-coverts. It has a long bill, and at rest wings project beyond tail.

Habitat: It breeds in subarctic, on plateaux or gentle slopes with montane tundra at 300–1700 m, in habitats ranging from gravelly areas covered by lichens and patches of herbs and heather to areas with a continuous thick layer of lichen. The non-breeding habitat includes sheltered coasts with large intertidal mudflats and sandflats, in inlets, bays, harbours, estuaries and lagoons; also on ocean beaches; rarely on inland swamps and lakes or at river mouths.

Food habits: It eats in breeding season primarily plant material mainly berries and kernels of dwarf pine tree. The small chicks feed exclusively on insects, such as Diptera larvae, beetles, and spiders. In non-breeding season feeds mainly on bivalves, buried in soft sediment; also gastropods, crustaceans, annelids and sea cucumbers. It searches mainly by probing in mud, also by pecking and gleaning. Feeds in large flocks, often in company of Red knot, Grey-tailed tattler and Godwit. It’s a nocturnal and diurnal forager.

Breeding: They  breed in May to Jun. It is Monogamous and territorial and highly faithful to site. The nest is a scrape in the ground. They lay a clutch of 3-4 eggs, laid over five days. The incubation period is 21 days and done by both parents. The female leaves area after hatching, leaving male to care for chicks. The fledging period is 20–25 days. The young become independent several days after fledging.