Shore Birds

At first sight the birds discussed below all seem to have the same general body form and appearance. I used to regard Sandpipers and similar birds as forming a group with the Shanks and Yellowlegs.

As I began to learn more about their behaviour I realised that the essential difference between these birds and the Long-legged Waders (which include Shanks and Yellowlegs) is that these birds are seen along the edges of the water rather than in the water. In fact they are familiar along shorelines and on coastal mudflats but some are also readily found on moorland, pastures, grasslands and cultivated areas.

A further difference becomes apparent when we look at how the birds take their food. The larger Shore Birds detect prey by sight and pursue it along the ground. The smaller birds glean the shore surface for smaller prey.

Known by a variety of names including Sandpipers, Plovers and Lapwings these birds are often found close together in shore-line and inland areas. Click on Sandpipers, Plovers, Lapwings etc to see how sub-habitats and feeding behaviour have enabled these birds to establish their own niches.