Farewell Shorebirds


Five million sun-loving Aussie birds are embarking on an epic, 13,000 kilometer journey and you can track their process as part of a national Birdlife Australia event.

On a flight that would exhaust even the world’s most seasoned travelers, millions of birds leave Australia throughout autumn on their annual journey traveling great distances to countries such as China, Korea, Siberia and Alaska.

In their lifetime, migratory birds can travel more than 700,000 – as far as the moon and back.

The Red-necked Stint Photo: Andrew Silcocks/BirdLife Australia
The Red-necked Stint
Photo: Andrew Silcocks/BirdLife Australia

Birdlife Australia is following six of the 35 species that head north each year to escape the Australian Winter, exploring why they make this incredible journey and how they rely on Australia’s coast, wetlands and estuaries for their survival.

Those interested in following the captivating story of the shorebirds’ annual, global migration can sign up at farewellshorebirds.org.au and receive weekly videos and webcasts from Birdlife Australia.

Each webcast will mark the departure of another wave of birds and track their progress as they journey across the globe.

Webcasts feature Australian bird loving comedian John Clarke and are anchored by Sean Dooley, author of The Big Twitch, editor of Australian BirdLife magazine and holder of the Australian Big Year twitching record from 2002 until 2012.

The Bar-tailed Godwit. Photo: Andrew Silcocks/BirdLife Australia
The Bar-tailed Godwit.
Photo: Andrew Silcocks/BirdLife Australia

“Many Australians will be amazed to discover how these birds prepare for this incredible flight including many surprising facts—they shrink the size of their liver and stomach to make it easier to fly so far—this and many other fascinating shorebird facts will feature throughout the webcasts,” said Mr. Dooley

Birds featured include the Curlew Sandpiper—the most threatened of the 35 species, the Red Knot—whose journey stretches the length of the flyway (13,000 kms), and the Bar-tailed Godwit—known to fly 11,000 km non-stop from Alaska across the Pacific in 9 days.

The smallest of the group is the Red-necked Stint which weighs as little as two 50-cent coins.

The tiny bird is one of the many migratory birds that call our region home. Along surf beaches Saanderlings and Ruddy Turnstones, both migratory shorebirds can all be found while the Barwon River and Lake Connewarre are also important shorebird sites.

The ‘Farewell Shorebirds’ event will run from 10 April until 10 May 2014, concluding on World Migratory Bird Day.

The Ruddy Turnstone Photo: Andrew Silcocks/BirdLife Australia
The Ruddy Turnstone
Photo: Andrew Silcocks/BirdLife Australia

 

Watch the Youtube ‘teaser’:

Join the conversation at farewellshorebirds.org.au or use #FarewellShorebirds on Twitter.

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