Hi Jill et al.,
Sorry for not responding earlier to your e-mail yesterday - most questions in
your e-mail I could not answer without wildly speculating anyway.
However, and this is again not based on scientific bachground: I am not sure if
there is such a difference regarding heat in comparison to the Northern
hemisphere. The peak of shorebird migration e.g. in Cape May, NJ, is late
July/August, which is the hottest time there. To my personal experience (I have
lived there for 5 years and since for 3 years in Sydney), I believe that the NJ
summers may be even hotter than the relatively mild Sydney summers - this is
obviously different in Brisbane. But, I believe that I have observed most
concrete roosting shorebirds later in fall and even winter (e.g. Redshanks and
Oystercatchers) rather than during the peak migration, which could support your
----- Original Message ----
From: Jill Dening <>
To: birding-aus <>
Sent: Thu, December 9, 2010 11:24:38 AM
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Shorebirds roosting on concrete walls
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
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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