The Red Knot migration.
Normally, when Red Knots begin their migrations, they will stop along the way in various locations to rest, refuel, and prepare for the onward journey. Bonaire is an important stop on these long migrations from wintering areas in South America to the northern stretches of the Arctic, where they breed each summer, as the habitat allows them to rebuild their fat reserves before continuing.
In many locations, they will gather in very large flocks–such as at Delaware Bay (New Jersey and Delaware, USA) where Red Knots gather to gorge on the eggs of spawning Horseshoe Crabs. This year, just 6,800 were counted, a very low count considering that 19,000 were counted in 2020, 30,000 in each of 2018 and 2019.
These low numbers, coupled with the lesser counts of migrating birds through the islands, are ringing the alarm bell. Where are the missing Red Knots?