Waders

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The Long-legged waders are also called as Shorebirds. This group includes long-legged wading birds such as storks and herons. These does not include the marine web-footed seabird groups such as Gulls, Terns, Skimmers. Long-legged waders include more than 200 species. Most of these species are associated with wetland OR coastal environments.

Many species of Arctic and temperate regions are strongly migratory, but tropical birds are often resident, OR move only in response to rainfall patterns. Some of the Arctic species, such as Little Stint are amongst the longest distance migrants, spending the non-breeding season in the southern hemisphere.

The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of mud OR exposed soil. Different lengths of bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food. Many waders have sensitive nerve endings at the end of their bills which enable them to detect prey items hidden in mud or soft soil. Some larger species, particularly those adapted to drier habitats will take larger prey including insects and small reptiles.

The smallest member of this group is the Least Sandpiper, small adults of which can weigh as little as 15.5 grams and measure just over 13 cm. The largest species is believed to be the Far Eastern Curlew, weighing about 900 grams and measures around 65 cm; although the Beach Thick-knee, is the heaviest at about 1 kg.

Categories

Herons, Egrets, Storks

Total Records: 33

The Herons are wading birds and there are 64 recognised species in this family. Some are called Egrets OR Bitterns instead of Herons. However, egrets are not a biologically distinct group from the herons, and tend to be named differently because they are mainly white OR have decorative plumes. Although egrets have the same build as the larger herons, but they tend to be smaller.

An Egret is any of several herons, most of which are white or buff, and several of which develop fine plumes [usually milky white] during the breeding season.

The Storks are large, long-legged, long-necked wading birds with long stout bills. They occur in many regions of the world and tend to live in drier habitats than the related herons, spoonbills, and ibises; they also lack the powder down that those groups use to clean off fish slime. Storks have no syrinx and are mute, giving no bird call; bill-clattering is an important mode of stork communication at the nest. Many species are migratory. Most storks eat frogs, fish, insects, earthworms, and small birds or mammals. There are 19 living species of storks.

Ibises, Flamingos, Spoonbills

Total Records: 12

The Ibises have long down curved bills, and usually feed as a group, probing mud for food items, usually crustaceans. Most species nest in trees, often with spoonbills or herons.

The Flamingos often stand on one leg, the other tucked beneath the body. Standing on one leg allow the birds to conserve more body heat, as they spend a significant amount of time wading in cold water. As well as standing in the water, flamingos may stamp their webbed feet in the mud to stir up food from the bottom.

The Spoonbills have large, flat, spatulate bills and feed by wading through shallow water, sweeping the partly-opened bill from side to side. The moment any small aquatic creature touches the inside of the bill [an insect, crustacean, or tiny fish] it is snapped shut. Spoonbills generally prefer fresh water to salt but are found in both environments. They need to feed many hours each day.

Stilts, Sandpipers, Plovers

Total Records: 74

The Stilts are found in brackish or saline wetlands in warm OR hot climates. They have extremely long legs, hence the group name, and long thin bills. Stilts typically feed on aquatic insects and other small creatures and nest on the ground surface in loose colonies.

The Sandpipers are a large family of waders or shorebirds. The majority of these species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.

Plovers are a widely distributed group of wading birds. There are about 40 species in the subfamily, most of them called Plover OR Dotterel. Plovers are found throughout the world, and are characterised by relatively short bills. They hunt by sight, rather than by feel as longer-billed waders like snipe do. They feed mainly on insects, worms or other invertebrates, depending on habitat, which are obtained by a run-and-pause technique, rather than the steady probing of some other wader groups.