Every spring, the red knots descend on the beaches of Delaware Bay to feast for a few weeks on horseshoe crab eggs. In the process, the red knots are able to gain enough energy and weight to continue on the final leg of their yearly marathon migration from the southern tip of South America to the Canadian Arctic. The red knots are delicate, robin-size shorebirds named for their salmon coloration. The horseshoe crabs are large arthropods considered a "living fossil" due to their origin some 450 million years ago. The lives of these two species are intimately intertwined and the populations of both are alarmingly in decline due to over-harvesting of horseshoe crabs.
Here are a few pictures of the red knots and horseshoe crabs I took at Pickering Beach, DE last weekend.