Waterbirds and Shorebirds

The term waterbirds is an all-embracing one for birds using inland and estuarine waterbodies and includes such disparate species as pelicans, some terns, swans and ducks, herons and voracious hen-like birds using wetland margins. It also includes shorebirds, although many of these species use marine mudflats. While several species of shorebirds occur year-round in Australia, most spend only the austral summer here and return to the northern hemisphere to breed. As a result, they feature in several international agreements that are administered through the EPBC Act.

Waterbirds can be surveyed from the air as well as on the ground and aerial survey has significant cost advantages on large wetlands and in remote locations. Bennelongia staff were co-organisors of the 2008 National Waterbird Count and surveyed waterbirds by air across all of Western Australia and part of South Australia.

All photos are taken by Jan van de Kam. Many of these are drawn from his book Life along land’s edge – Wildlife on the shores of Roebuck Bay, Broome available from the Broome Bird Observatory bbo@birdsaustralia.com.au