May 01, 2019
The Red Knots are here!
Each spring from March through May, Red Knots makes their way to Kiawah Island. Red Knots undertake an incredible journey from South America to the Arctic traveling over 9,000 miles, sometimes flying for 6-8 days continuously over the open ocean without stopping. They stop on Kiawah during migration to rest and feed before continuing to their Arctic breeding grounds. Red Knots have suffered a steep decline in their population over the last 30 years and are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. Disturbance by people and dogs on our beach can have detrimental effects on the bird’s survival. Each time a bird is forced to fly while feeding or resting, it is using up essential energy needed to make the next flight to its breeding grounds. Here is how we can ensure they complete their journey:
- Keep a respectful distance and do not make noise around them.
- Do not walk or bike through the flocks.
- Do not allow your dogs to chase the birds. If Red Knots are present in the “dog off leash” area of the beach, please keep your dog on a leash and take them away from the birds. Allowing dogs to chase Red Knots is a violation of Town Ordinances and Federal Laws.
The Town has Shorebird Stewards on the beach this spring to help educate beachgoers about red knots and our beach-nesting birds. If you see someone wearing a blue shirt that says “Ask Me About The Birds” please stop them to learn more about these fascinating birds. (Photo: Bob Hill)