To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Runners
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2009 18:12:51 +1000
Sorry everyone,  if you aren't familiar with the term "runner". I should have explained.

Before a shorebird or tern is able to fly, it is covered with down, and is called a "runner". The only way it can move is to run along the beach. It is able to do this from the time it hatches in the nest, which is a scrape in the sand above the high tide line. The term runner is widely used amongst people who observe shorebird and tern beach breeding. eg Pied Oystercatchers, Red-capped Plovers, Hooded Plovers (though not in my area) all have a runner stage where they are very vulnerable to foxes, dogs, people, 4WDs and anything that can catch them.

As soon as the shorebird or tern grows its first feathers, it begins to fly, and is called a fledgling.

People shouldn't throw around jargon, should they? :-)  Sorry.


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S	152° 56' 00"E

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