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9

Red-kneed Dotterel

(Erythrogonys cinctus)
Alternate name(s): Misnomer: "Sandpiper*"
Size: 17-20 cm; wing span 33-38 cm
Weight: 45-65 g

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Red-kneed Dotterel at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Not the photos you want? Or are you after even better quality? Have a look here .

ADULT

Sex unknown

Near-frontal view of a Red-kneed Dotterel
[Near Wanaaring , NSW, September 2012]

Near-lateral view of two Red-kneed Dotterels (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Lateral view of a Red-kneed Dotterel
[Near Wanaaring , NSW, September 2012]

Lateral view of Red-kneed Dotterels in shallow water (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Keep River NP, NT, November 2018]

5 out of a total of 10 Red-kneed Dotterels with two Grey Teals (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Near-dorsal/ventral view of a Red-kneed Dotterel foraging in shallow water
[Near Wanaaring , NSW, September 2012]

Near-dorsal view of Red-kneed Dotterels in shallow water (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Keep River NP, NT, November 2018]

Dorsal view of a Red-kneed Dotterel
[Near Wanaaring , NSW, September 2012]

Dorsal view of two Red-kneed Dotterels with two Grey Teals and a Pacific Black Duck (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Lateral view of a Red-kneed Dotterel in flight, giving a clear view of its underwing pattern (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Lateral view of a Red-kneed Dotterel in flight, giving a clear view of its upperwing pattern (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

Near-dorsal view of a Red-kneed Dotterel in flight, giving a clear view of its upperwing pattern (photo courtesy of C. Hayne)

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Lateral view of an immature Red-kneed Dotterel; note that the head is not yet black (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Lateral view of an immature Red-kneed Dotterel (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Near-dorsal view of an immature Red-kneed Dotterel, right, with an adult for comparison (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Frontal view of an juvenile Red-kneed Dotterel starting to moult (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2019]

Near-frontal view of an juvenile Red-kneed Dotterel starting to moult adult plumage (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2019]

Lateral view of juvenile Red-kneed Dotterel starting to moult (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2019]

Lateral view of an immature Red-kneed Dotterel starting to moult (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2019]

Adult, left, with two juvenile Red-kneed Dotterels (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Two adult, left and right, with three juvenile Red-kneed Dotterels (photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Lake Claremont, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 2 - 5 Incubation period: 25 - 26 days Fledging age: N/A

The breeding season depends on geographical latitude and on weather conditions. In the tropical North they usually breed during the dry season. Given the right circumstances, Black-fronted Dotterels, in principle, can breed any time of the year. Chicks are precocials and will leave the nest very soon after hatching.

Nest building: N/A Incubation: Female & male Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

"bungobittah", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Scrape Material: Sandy or rocky soil Height above ground: N/A

Red-kneed Dotterel nest with 4 eggs (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Macquarie Marshes NP, NSW, 1980ies]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "mirk", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena", "pum-pum" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 30 x 21 mm Colour: Heavily speckled Shape: Tapered oval

Red-kneed Dotterels (see also Black-fronted Dotterel eggs for comparison!) have the ability to adapt the colour of their eggs to the surroundings of the nest/scrape.

Red-kneed Dotterel egg colour adaptation to wetland fringe with aquatic plants (photo courtesy of D. Johnston)
[Macquarie Marshes NP, NSW, 1980ies]

Behaviour

Although spending most of their lives in water, even aquatic birds need to bathe.

Distant view of a Red-kneed Dotterel taking a bath
[O'Brien's Creek, Narrabri Lake, NSW, October 2013]

In good conditions, and most likely outside the breeding season, Red-kneed Dotterels can form significant flocks.

6 of in total 10 Red-kneed Dotterels found in close proximity to a mob of at least 18 Black-fronted Dotterels
(photo courtesy of C. Pears)
[Herdsman Lake, Perth, WA, March 2022]

Food, Diet

Frontal view of an immature Red-kneed Dotterel with an egg? (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2019]

Near-lateral view of an immature Red-kneed Dotterel with its next meal, an egg? (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2019]

Near-dorsal view of an immature Red-kneed Dotterel scooping up its next meal, an egg? (photo courtesy of R. Plumtree)
[Ensay, East Gippsland, VIC, November 2019]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

redkdot_20141109.mp3 (NW NSW) Contact call? © MD
redkdot_20180516.m4a (NW NSW) Warning/departure? © MD

More Red-kneed Dotterel sound recordings are available at xeno-canto.org .

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.