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Rufa Red Knot

Rufa Red Know.  Photo by Gregory Breese/USFWS
Gregory Breese/USFWS

Federally Threatened


This migratory shorebird receives its name from the rusty color that dominates the head, neck, and belly during breeding season. This sandpiper is approximately 9-10 inches long and has a 23 inch wingspan.


9-10 inches in length. 23 inch wingspan.


Red knots prefer to forage on mudflats and use their bills to probe the substrate for mollusks, invertebrates, and seeds. Ideal foraging habitat for this species is limited within the state; Oklahoma is not a critical breeding or staging area for the species. Fewer than five birds are reported in Oklahoma annually. Of those, 85 percent have been reported during fall migration. Inexperienced or malnourished birds likely comprise the majority of sightings, however inclement weather events can also ground long-distance migrants like these birds for periods of time.

Life History

This race breeds along the shores of the Arctic Tundra and overwinters in Chile.

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