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). These habitats are under significant threat around the state of Victoria, and the world.

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).

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.

Some examples of waders are shown in the picture gallery.