classification of birds as aquatic, marine or terrestrial

To: "'Lynda Chambers'" <>, <>
Subject: classification of birds as aquatic, marine or terrestrial
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Wed, 22 Aug 2012 19:29:55 +1000
Hi Lynda,

Sorry to be trite but how precise or exclusive do you wish your
classification to be? Or are you just looking for a rough description? I
suppose it comes down to the word "predominantly". You appear to be already
aware that it is not so clear cut and then there is the habitat called
estuarine or tidal. Many birds will be two out of three of these, e.g. swans
& pelicans are regularly aquatic and marine. The opinion of people may vary
according to where they spend most time looking for birds.

Are you only considering water birds & wading birds or also things like
Sea-Eagle, Osprey, Brahminy Kite, which unlike most hawks are predominantly
associated with water in some form. So for some families I think you need to
consider each species, not by family. But if you are considering all birds
you could probably block all parrots, honeyeaters, grass wrens, finches and
many groups as terrestrial. 

Even then there is the occasional weird one, such as Canberra has one record
each of 3 marine species: White-faced Storm Petrel, Short-tailed Shearwater
& Long-tailed Jaeger.


-----Original Message-----
 On Behalf Of Lynda Chambers
Sent: Wednesday, 22 August 2012 3:22 PM
Subject: classification of birds as aquatic, marine or
terrestrial [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Does anyone have a list (or at least a really good definition) of what an
aquatic bird is, compared to a marine or terrestrial one. I am attempting to
classify Australian (& other southern hemisphere) species according to
whether they are predominantly aquatic, marine or terrestrial as part of a
larger analysis. Some species I have considered as aquatic include those in
the families Anatidae (ducks, swans etc), Ardeidae (herrons, egrets,
bitterns), Podicipedidae (Grebes), Anhingidae (darters), Phalacrocoracidae
(cormorants). But what about some of the waders, oystercatchers and plovers?
Should they be considered as aquatic, marine or terrestrial?

Any advice greatly appreciated.



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