The Sunshine Coast provides important habitat for migratory and resident shorebirds.
Each summer a diverse range of species gather in our coastal wetlands and on sandbanks and mudflats. To highlight some of the key species that inhabit and visit our shore, a striking mural is now a prominent feature of the Golden Beach Esplanade.
The mural, painted by local artist Steven Bordonaro, features three migratory species - the bar-tailed godwit, whimbrel and eastern curlew. Migratory bird species begin their journey in the northern hemisphere from places such as Siberia, China and Alaska. They journey for up to 25,000 kilometres before landing on our shores to feed and rest in the summer months. Over its lifetime a migratory shorebird can fly up to 380,000 kilometres. It is essential that shorebirds rest and gain weight when they visit our shores in preparation for their long journey back to the northern hemisphere.
The mural also features two resident species found year-round on our shore - these are the pied oyster catcher and beach-stone curlew.
Shorebirds are among the most threatened group of bird species in the world. Destruction of tidal ecosystems worldwide is believed to be a major factor contributing to population decline. Shorebird monitoring in Australia is seeking to better understand other factors contributing to this decline.
On the Sunshine Coast, shorebird resting and feeding areas often overlap with recreational use areas. To help our migratory visitors to conserve energy it is best to observe them from a distance to avoid disturbing them.
It is hoped that the mural project, funded by the Environment Levy, will assist to raise awareness of the plight of these and other shorebirds of our region - a key objective of council’s Shorebird Conservation Action Plan.
You can learn more about our shorebirds, including some of those featured on the mural, by watching the Shorebirds of the Sunshine Coast.
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