In a slide show of her original paintings, Janet Essley explores the fascinating life cycles of these long-distance migrants, the amazing physiology, and the conservation challenges they face. The Red Knot (Calidris canutus), a medium-sized sandpiper, is a regular guest along the Oregon Coast during its spring and fall migrations. Extremists among sandpipers, Red Knots migrate longer distances, breed farther north, display faster beach-probing feeding maneuvers, and ingest harder shelled mollusks than other sandpipers.
Recording scientific knowledge through art forms from around the world, Essley’s Cultural Cartography of Red Knots is a unique collage of human and avian natural history. Research for this project has immersed Essley in shorebird scientific studies and an astounding variety of human artistic expression from around the world. If nothing else, she says, studying migrating birds teaches us that the world is one shared home.