Great Knot Ken/Flickr

Great Knot

Did You Know?

  • Great Knots do not breed in Australia. They nest in Siberia during the northern summer, where they lay up to four eggs
  • The destruction of the Knots’ most important stop-over site in Korea has not only caused the species’ population to nose-dive by nearly a third, it has deprived 20,000 people of their livelihoods (shellfish)
FactBox Image

Medium sized shorebird with a straight, slender bill and a heavily streaked head and neck. Non breeding plumage in Australia; pale to chestnut head, neck and upper breast. White underparts.

In breeding plumage they have a black band across the chest, and black, white and reddish speckles on the upperparts (Great Knots breed in Siberia).


A medium-sized shorebird



Usually silent, however said to call in a double whistle.


When in Australia they can been seen feeding on bivalve molluscs, snails, worms and other crustaceans.


Great Knots do not breed in Australia, instead nest in Siberia during the northern summer. They are a regular summer migrant to Australia.

Field Guide

Improve your identification skills. Download your Great Knot field guide here!

Species: WhatToObserve Image

What to Observe

  • Presence

  • Calling

  • Feeding

Climate Adaptations

Climate change is expected to significantly impact migratory birds through timing of events like migration or breeding. Responses may include arriving at their breeding grounds earlier as global temperatures rise. They may also start appearing in new areas as climatic events alter preferred habitat, natural resources and migration routes.

Species: WhenAndWhere Image

When and Where

When To Look

  • Occurs around coastal areas in Australia during the southern summer
  • Migration is usually from September to March
  • Breeds in eastern Siberia
  • When on migration they occur throughout coastal regions of eastern and South East Asia

Where To Look

Tidal mudflats, sandy ocean, estuaries, and shallow wetlands.

Species: WhatElse Image

Similar Species

Red Knot (Calidris canutus): shorter bill size, distinct dark eye-line with white eyebrow

Asian Dowitcher (Limnodromus semipalmatus): much longer bill size

Curlew Sandpiper (Calidris ferruginea): smaller body size and has a down-curved bill