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Birding Málaga


Common name Red knot
Scientific name Calidris canutus
Type Waterbirds
Status Migrator

Small wader bird (approx 26 cm or 10 in). Short, greenish legs, stubby body, black bill, broad and slightly downcurved. Rufous underparts, breast and face. White posterior area of the belly. Brown striated upperparts, neck and nape. In winter it presents a uniform grey plumage, more striated and dark on the back than on the belly. Very prominent pale eyebrow. In flight white wing strips are visible.



Where it lives

Circumpolar species with a preference for stony terrain close to the coast and with low and scattered vegetation. In winter it frequents beaches and sandy marshes with tidal dynamics. Absent in inland waters.

How it lives

Bird that can be watched in Malaga only during the migratory passage. The Red Knot nests in open land near the coast. Nest on the ground. Laying of 3 to 4 eggs. It feeds on molluscs and other invertebrates obtained by exploring the silt of the banks thanks to a bill with great sensory capacity.

Where it can be seen in Malaga

Rare species in the province, easier to see in spring than in autumn. It can be watched in the mouths of the Guadalhorce and Vélez rivers, as well as in the Fuente de Piedra lagoon. There are also observations in Punta de Calaburras (Mijas).

Curious facts

The Latin name of this bird refers to it is a shore bird ("Caladris") and to the Nordic king Knut the Great (1016-1035), who considered this bird as an exquisite delicacy. In other areas of Spain this bird is known as "playero ártico" o "playero rojizo" ("arctic" or "red beachy"), which makes reference to its habitat preference and to its typical summer plumage tone.

Similar birds
Wintering Summer Resident Migration