Meet the Red Knot! As its name suggests, the Red Knot, Calidris canutus, is a stout, medium-sized wader that turns brick red during the breeding season.
The Bar-tailed Godwit holds the world record for longest distance travelled without stopping for any animal. Godwits fly directly across the Pacific Ocean from the Arctic Tundra to Australasia – a record breaking leap of 12,000 km from Alaska to New Zealand in 9 days.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus The Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus, is a medium-sized wader in the curlew family. Whimbrels have a long neck and legs, and their bill curves slightly downwards. The legs are a dull, bluish-grey and the bill has a pink underside near the base. A distinctive feature of the Whimbrel is the head pattern –
The Far Eastern Curlew is the largest shorebird in the world. Only found in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, it weighs in at around 1.2 kilograms. The bill length of the Far Eastern Curlew can help to tell it apart from other shorebirds. Unlike a Whimbrel, its curved beak is so long that if it turned its head around, it could touch its tail.
The Great Knot (Calidris tenurostris) is a medium-sized shorebird with a straight black bill and short olive legs. Great Knots are sometimes difficult to tell apart from the closely related Red Knot (C. canutus). A neat trick to help distinguish a Great Knot from a Red Knot is to imagine the beak turned around 180 degrees. If the length of the beak extends beyond the length of the head, it is a Great Knot. If it is shorter than or about the same length of the head, it is a Red Knot.
The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) is one of our more striking migratory waders. Sporting a tawny crown and back, straight black bill and olive legs, the medium-sized ‘Sharpie’ is easy to pick out in a flock of smaller waders.
Introducing our most commonly encountered migratory wader, the Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis). Red-necked Stints are the smallest of the 37 migratory shorebirds to visit Australia. Although they weigh little more than a Tim Tam, their tiny wings carry them 25,000 kilometres between Australia and breeding grounds in Siberia and Alaska every year.
The Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea) looks a bit like a Red-necked Stint that has had its bill and legs stretched. They have black legs and a black, down-curved bill adapted for pulling polychaete worms and other invertebrates from the mud.