Bad news! There have been fewer sightings of Red Knots this year in both Delaware Bay during the bird's spring migration and along South Beach in Chatham, MA during its fall migration.
This little shorebird makes one of the longest yearly migrations of any bird, traveling over 9,200 miles (15,000 km) from breeding grounds well above the Arctic Circle (the first known nest was discovered during Admiral Peary's expedition to the North Pole in 1909) to Tierra del Fuego in southern South America. Along the way Red Knots will make stops along estuarine beaches in North America, sometimes small flocks will show up in New York Harbor, to rest and roost. In the spring the birds need to refuel on fatty horseshoe crab eggs with the largest flocks seeking a feast along Delaware Bay.
Unfortunately, populations are in decline. The shorebird is listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Decades of widespread emerging challenges like climate change and coastal development, coupled with the historic impacts of horseshoe crab over-harvesting have sharply reduced the Red Knot population with few signs of hope.
STOP THE WILLIAMS FRACKED GAS PIPELINE THROUGH NY HARBOR!
MY TOP 5 FAVORITE BOOKS ABOUT NY HARBOR
1. Field Guide to the Neighborhood Birds of New York City by Leslie Day
2.Heartbeats in the Muck by John Waldman
3. The Fisheries of Raritan Bay by Clyde L. MacKenzie Jr.
4. Waterfront: A Walk Around Manhattan by Phillip Lopate
5. The Bottom of the Harbor by Joseph Mitchell