I would take it further - Black Swans are often seen on wet grasslands!
Guess it depends on why you want to do this Lynda - personally I would not
place waders as aquatic birds as - whilst most are found on shorelines -
they do not actually go in the water much! ANd many ducks, cormorants etc
are just as much at home on "marine" (by which I take it you mean saline)
as "aquatic" (fresh?) environments - indeed cormorants
are predominantly marine. And as Philip points out it depends on the
species not the family - some ducks are marine, some aquatic and some
On 22 August 2012 19:29, Philip Veerman <> wrote:
> 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.
> & 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
> 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
> each of 3 marine species: White-faced Storm Petrel, Short-tailed Shearwater
> & Long-tailed Jaeger.
> -----Original Message-----
> On Behalf Of Lynda
> Sent: Wednesday, 22 August 2012 3:22 PM
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] 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
> 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
> Should they be considered as aquatic, marine or terrestrial?
> Any advice greatly appreciated.
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