Shorebirds roosting on concrete walls

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Shorebirds roosting on concrete walls
From: Jill Dening <>
Date: Thu, 09 Dec 2010 10:24:38 +1000
Hi all,

I have had a very strong response from my rfi below, and thank all the people who have contributed to an interesting offline discussion.

In brief, there are few examples of migratory shorebirds using smooth concrete structures, but they do occur in places. Barwits don't like wooden platforms. Most usage of sea walls made of rock is in places where the substrate is rough and uneven. It's possible that the attraction of rock walls is the isolation from security issues.

I am wary of comparing shorebird usage of concrete structures in Australia with those in the northern hemisphere, as our summer heat may make some concrete structures impossibly hot for migratory shorebirds to stand on.

Some interesting artificial structures can be attractive to shorebirds. For example, an abandoned boat wreck, in the right situation, can attract roosting birds. Wooden posts and possibly post and rail structures can be acceptable.

My gut feeling is that disturbance factors and loss of natural habitat may make artificial structures attractive to shorebirds, rather than a natural preference for them.


Jill Dening
Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

26° 51' 41"S  152° 56' 00"E

On 6/12/2010 12:07 PM, Jill Dening wrote:
Hi Everyone,

Please, I need information if you could take a moment to think.

Does anyone know of a situation where coastal migratory shorebird flocks
roost regularly on cement structures, as in a sea wall or revetment
wall? It doesn't have to be in Australia, although that would be better
if possible.

If there is such a situation, the next thing I would like to know, if
possible, is which species are prepared to stand on concrete.

Taking the question further, I would like to hear from people who know
of shorebirds roosting on other artificial structures or surfaces. I'm
not asking about birds like cormorants or pelicans, rather, migratory

The answers may help in informing for an upcoming proposed artificial
roost. And no, I am NOT building another artificial roost, not me. The
politics of the last one turned me into an old woman.



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