The red-kneed dotterel (Erythrogonys cinctus) is a long-legged, medium-sized (length 17–20 cm, wingspan 33–38 cm, weight 40-55 g) plover in a monotypic genus in the subfamily Vanellinae. It is often gregarious and will associate with other waders of its own and different species, even when nesting. It is nomadic and sometimes irruptive.
Adults distinctively marked: black cap or hood from bill, extending below eyes, merging at nape to grey-brown of back. White chin and throat. Broad black band on breast joining nape and also extending to flanks as chestnut stripe. Belly and vent white. Back and mantle grey-brown, mainly black upperwing with white trailing edge. Upper leg, including tarsal joint or “knee”, red. Bill red with dark tip.
Mainly margins of shallow ephemeral and permanent freshwater wetlands, occasionally saline wetlands, but rarely tidal wetlands.
The red-kneed dotterel generally breeds from October to January, though it may nest in other months if suitable water conditions exist. It nests on the ground on wetland margins, sometimes using nests of other birds such as hoary-headed grebes. Lays clutch of four cream eggs profusely covered with lines, speckles or blotches. Young precocial and nidifugous.
With a large range and no evidence of significant population decline, this species’ conservation status is of Least Concern.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Erythrogonys cinctus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- "Red-kneed Dotterel Erythrogonys cinctus". BirdLife International. Retrieved 8 October 2010.
- Pizzey, Graham; Knight, Frank (1997). Birds of Australia. London: HarperCollins. p. 212. ISBN 978-0-00-220132-2.
- Marchant, S.; Higgins, P.J.; & Davies, J.N. (eds). (1994). Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 2: Raptors to Lapwings. Oxford University Press: Melbourne. ISBN 0-19-553069-1
- National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife. (1987). The Shorebirds of Australia. Angus & Robertson: Sydney. ISBN 0-207-15348-5
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