Plains-wanderer in "Shorebirds of Australia"

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Subject: Plains-wanderer in "Shorebirds of Australia"
From: "Peter Shute" <>
Date: Thu, 17 Jan 2008 14:41:13 +1100
 wrote on Thursday, 17 January 2008
2:09 PM:

> I don't have my copy handy; is there anything in the
> introduction discussing the order Charadriiformes, and why
> other members of the order e.g. gulls aren't included in the book?

It discusses the families concerned and which ones are excluded but,
from memory, not why.  I just found some sample pages of the book at:

Page 4 shows the family tree, which includes Plains-wanderer and
button-quails.  Page 2 shows which ones have been included in the book.
Page 3 is missing from the sample, but I don't think it justifies any
inclusions or exclusions other than explaining that this is what's
normally considered to be a shorebird.

> My understanding is that "waders"/"shorebirds" is a label of
> convenience for members of the order Charadriiformes, except
> the suborders (gulls, terns etc.) usually referred to as
> "seabirds", so Plains Wanderer and buttonquails are
> "shorebirds". (I don't know if BQs were included in the book
> - it would have been interesting if they had.)

Buttonquails aren't included.  I didn't notice them in the tree, so now
I'm wondering why you'd exclude them but include Plains-wanderer.  Maybe
something to do with their closer relationship to the gulls, etc?
Looking at the tree on page 4, I guess they've taken the top and bottom

But again, my posting wasn't really about why they were included, but
rather why they were included without comment.

Great book, by the way.  It was the plumage topology drawings that
convinced me to buy it, as I've been struggling with it.  I'm sure it's
in other books too, but I haven't come across any in my limited reading.

Peter Shute

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