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The Unique Wading Birds

Updated on June 16, 2016

The Black-winged Stilt

Black-winged Stilt By Charlessharp CC BY-SA 4.0
Black-winged Stilt By Charlessharp CC BY-SA 4.0 | Source

The Black-winged Stilt

The Black-winged Stilt's scientific name is Himantopus himantopus.

The Black-winged Stilt is found in Central America, Australia, South America, Africa, Asia, North America and Eurasia. You will also find them in Indonesia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Zealand and the Philippines. They like to live in small groups. They will make their home in freshwater marshes, saltwater marshes, mudflats and edges of lakes and rivers.

The back-winged Stilt is a large white and black wading bird. Their legs are an orange-red, and their bill is straight and black. The back of their neck is black, and they have a white collar. They are 36 to 37cm long,

The Black-winged Stilt will eat aquatic insects, molluscs and crustaceans. They will wade in shallow water looking for food. They catch their prey on or near the surface.

The Black-winged Stilt will nest in small groups. The Black-winged Stilt's nests are a scrape in the ground or pile of green vegetation that is near the water. They female will lay 3 to 4 eggs that will hatch in 25 days. The Black-winged Stilt female and male will incubate the eggs and care for the babies.

The Common Greenshank Wading Bird

Common Greenshank Wading Bird By J.M. Garg CC BY-SA 3.0
Common Greenshank Wading Bird By J.M. Garg CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The common greenshank's scientific name is Tringa nebulavia.

The common greenshank is found in many areas of Africa, Asia and India. They are also found in the Philippines and New Guinea. In the summer, you will find a large number of them in Australia. You will find them living on the coast and inland in mudflats, mangrove swamps and lagoons. They are also found in billabongs, swamps, sewage farms and flooded crop land.

The common greenshank is a large wading bird. Their body is mostly grey-brown, and they have a pale belly. They have a dark grey flecked head and neck. They have a green-grey bill that is curved up. When they are flying their outer wing is dark and their rump and back are white.

They will migrate to breeding areas in Palaearctic areas. After breeding season is over they will move south.

They will eat insects, worms, molluscs, small fish and crustaceans. They will look for food during the day and at night.

They do not stay in Australia for breeding season but will migrate north. The male will build a nest up against boulders or tree stumps. Sometimes he will build several nests before the female finds one that suits her. The nest is in a shallow spot on the ground lined with feathers and plants. The female and male will incubate the eggs and care for the babies.

The Eastern Curlew

Eastern Curlew Cairns, Australia By DickDaniels CC BY-SA 3.0
Eastern Curlew Cairns, Australia By DickDaniels CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The Eastern Curlew

The eastern curlew's scientific name is Numenius madagascariensist.

The eastern curlew is found in many areas of Australia and Tasmania. They are rarely seen inland. They will go to Russia and China during breeding season. They are also seen in Japan, Korea and Bomeo. A few will stop off for a visit in New Zealand. They like to live in mudflats, mangrove swamps, bays, harbors, lagoons and sand flats. They like beds of sea-grass on the sand flats.

The eastern curlew is considered to be the largest wading bird that stops off in Australia. The female has a very long bill that can be 185mm long. Their body is streaked-brown. Their wings are dark on top and lighter on the bottom.

When they migrate south, they will move during the day and at night. They usually move along the coastlines.

They eat small crabs and molluscs. The eastern curlew will look for food during the day and at night.

The eastern curlews numbers are declining because of hunting and pollution.

The Red-kneed Dotterel

Red-kneed Dotterel By J J Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0
Red-kneed Dotterel By J J Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The Red-kneed Dotterel

The Red-kneed Dotterel's scientific name is Erythrogony's cinctus.

The Red-kneed Dotterel is found in Australia and New Guinea. They make their home in wetlands, lagoons and swamplands. They like freshwater and areas that will flood.

The Red-kneed Dotterel is a small wading bird that has long legs. They have a cap on their head that is black. Their chin and throat band are white. The top of their body is a greenish brown color, and the lower part is white. They have a red bill with a black tip. Their legs are red above the knees. They are 17 to 20 inches long, and their wingspan is 33 to 38 inches. They usually weigh 40 to 55g.

The Red-kneed Dotterel likes to eat aquatic insects, larvae and seeds. They will find their food along the shore, and they will also wade into the water looking for food.

They will make a hole in the wet ground near water for a nest. They will line it with grass. Both the male and female sit on the eggs and care for the babies. The babies can swim soon after they hatch.

Urban development, agriculture and cattle grazing have disturbed their nests and effected their numbers in some areas. The Red Kneed Dotterel is not considered threatened at this time.

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper By J J Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper By J J Harrison CC BY-SA 3.0 | Source

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper's scientific name is Palidris acuminata.

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper will migrate from Arctic Siberia in the summer and will be found in the wetlands of Australia. You will also find them in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, New Zealand and the Solomon Islands. The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper is found in other parts of the central Pacific region. They like to live in the grassy edges of shallow inland freshwater wetlands. They also live around sewage farms, flooded fields, mudflats, mangroves, rocky shores and beaches.

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper is a wading bird that is medium size. They have a bill that is black and straight with a base that is olive-grey. Their crown and nape are chestnut and their eyebrows are white. Their upper body is reddish brown and the feathers each have black center. They have a black rump and tail. They have white flanks and breast that are speckled and streaked with black. Their chest has a reddish brown tinge. They are 18 to 24cm long and will weigh 60g.

The Sharp-tailed Sandpiper will eat aquatic insects and aquatic larvae, worms, molluscs, crustaceans and seeds. They will form large groups when they are looking for food.

Their breeding grounds in Siberia are in peat-hummock and lichen tundra. Their nest is a hollow on the ground that is lined with grass and leaves and well hidden. The female sits on the eggs until they hatch and she cares for the babies.


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    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      Thanks for comment. The sandpiper is found in many places.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      2 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Interesting information about these wading birds. I may have seen a couple of them when I lived closer to water in Florida. The sandpiper looks really familiar.

    • norlawrence profile imageAUTHOR

      Norma Lawrence 

      2 years ago from California

      They are great. We do have a few where I live. There is a bird sanctuary near by and the last few years they have been stopping by. Thanks for comment.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Nice work. Shorebirds and waders are interesting birds, and I look for them quite often.


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