[order] Charadriiformes | [family] Scolopacidae | [latin] Calidris tenuirostris | [UK] Great Knot | [FR] Bécasseau de l'Anadyr | [DE] Grosser Knutt | [ES] Correlimos Grande | [IT] Piovanello beccosottile | [NL] Grote Kanoet

Grote Kanoet determination

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Largest shorebird. Breast and flanks heavily spotted black. Scapulars with large chestnut spots and blackish tips. uppertail coverts mostly white. Female averages larger, with less chestnut in scapulars. Non-breeding adult has paler grey upperparts and brest. Upperparts, head and neck finely streaked dark grey. Breast streaked, flanks lightly streaked.

Habitat includes sheltered coasts with large intertidal mudflats and sandflats, inlets, bays, harbours, estuaries and lagoons. Breeds in subarctic, on plateaux or gentle slopes with mountain tundra. In habitats ranging from gravelly areas covered by lichens and patches of herbs and heather to areas with continuous thick layer of lichen and scattered depressed larch or dwarf pine.

Breeds in north-east Siberia, distribution imperfectly known but believed to extend from Verkhoyansk range to Koryatsk range, though only 2 nests so far discovered. Winters from Pakistan to southern China and south to Australia. Accidental in Morocco, Britain, Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Spain, Israel, Morocco.

Feeds mainly on bivalves, buried in soft sediment, also gastropods, crustaceans, annelids and sea cucumbers. During breeding siason primarily plant material, mainly berries, also kernels of dwarf pine trees. Feeds in large flocks, often in company of C. canutus, Limosa lapponica and H. brevipes. Nocturnal and diurnal forager.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km². It has a large global population estimated to be 380,000-390,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but 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). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Egg laying in May-June. Monogamous and territorial and highly faithful to site. 4 eggs are laid in a single brood. Incubation lasts 21 days, by both parents but female leaves area after hatching, leaving male to care for chicks. Chicks are mottled dull blackish brown above with some buff and with rows of white or cinnamon buff tips to down, underparts white to buffish white.

Long distance migrant, mainly along coast, probably with few stopovers. Females leave breeding grounds early Jul, males and young late Jul. N & S migration routes quite different. Most birds migrate via coast of Sea of Okhotsk (only on S migration), Ussuriland, South Korea (especially N migration), and E China (stopover, at least in N migration); straggler to New Zealand. Arrival in NW Australia late Aug and early Sept, 1st-year birds in Oct; Gulf of Carpentaria not reached until Dec; N migration occurs in Mar-Apr, and departure from NE Australia occurs late Mar to mid-Apr; probably flies non-stop to S China; arrival on breeding grounds late May to early Jun. Small numbers, with highest count 1193 birds, winter in or pass through Arabia, particularly Oman, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia; birds wintering in Pakistan and India may cross Tibetan Plateau. Some 1st-years spend first boreal summer, and maybe longer, in non-breeding range, others migrate at least N to Sakhalin.