What are waders?
Waders, also known as shorebirds, include all those birds that use the water’s edge for feeding. This generally involves utilising the mudflats that are exposed as water recedes (either by tide in marine environments or evaporation in fresh water bodies).
Waders range from the tiny Red-necked Stint (weighing less than 30gms) up to the large Eastern Curlew (a robust 600gm building to well over a kilogram when fuelled up for migration flight).
Some examples of waders are shown in the picture gallery.
Most of the migratory waders that spend part of their life in Australia breed in the arctic and travel here to avoid the northern winter. This requires access to refuelling grounds along the way. A critical part of the VWSG’s work has been to contribute valuable data that has led to a greater understanding of where these habitats are and strengthened arguments for saving them.
Waders habitats are under significant threat around the state of Victoria, and the world. One of the biggest threats to waders is habitat loss, and for those migrating through the Yellow Sea to their northern hemisphere breeding grounds, reclamation of tidal flats has had a massive impact on populations. Find out more by watching the amazing video below by Cornell Lab of Ornithology, based on the some of the research findings by Nick Murray and colleagues at the University of Queensland.