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Uploaded on Wednesday 10 Nov 2010 by Peter Prokosch

High Arctic tundra as breeding habitat of the Knot (Calidris canutus islandica), Olrik fjord, North-West Greenland

Year: 2010 Taken by: Peter Prokosch
The Red Knot breeding with six subspecies in the high Arctic tundra makes one of the longest migrations of any bird, traveling up to 16,000 km twice a year. The different knot populations are migrating in some of the largest non-stop leaps known from any species along all the main continental coastal flyways to their southern wintering sites. The species is highly dependent on large tidal flat areas with abundant food recourses (mainly small shell fish such as Macoma baltica) as staging areas (“spring boards”) to fill up fat reserves enabling them to make the up to 5000 km long non stop-flights. Calidris c. islandica traveling from West Europe via Iceland or Northern Norway to Northern Greenland and North-East Canada undertakes the physiologically extreme performance each spring to refuel at least 2 times fat reserves (doubling weight) during 3 weeks fast feeding and fly this fuel off within 2-3 days on their large distant non-stop leaps. Having reached in the beginning of June exactly the same place, where they have been breeding the previous year they use the insect rich short summer to raise their young before migrating back to the Wadden Sea in August.
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