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Red-necked stint have been known to live for more than 18 years

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The Whimbrel travels from Siberia to Australia every year!

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Over the course of its migration an Eastern Curlew can fly more than 20,000 kilometres

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Red-necked stint have been known to live for more than 18 years

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Factsheets

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Activities

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Get in a flap about these feathery fellows​

 

Shorebirds are the birds you’ll find feeding along the coastline. Many species are migratory, so will only call Gladstone home for a short time as they fly from place to place with the seasons. Many of these birds enjoy Gladstone's range of habitats, and usually love to get a feed from mudflats, like this terek sandpiper eating a delicious worm!

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On this page you will find information on some of the common bird species to wing their way into the Port Curtis region.

There are 36 species of shorebirds that regularly migrate to Australia from places like China, Mongolia, Siberia, and Alaska — see how many you can find in our Big6 bird find-a-word​!​​

Then, once you've become an expert by reading our fact sheets​, show how much you know by finishing the crossword!

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Australia's leading the world, again!

 

Australia has the most recognised internationally important sites for migratory shorebirds with 118. Japan is next with 89 sites and China third with 51 sites.

 

The creepy calls of the curlew!

 

Eastern curlews have a haunting, mournful call that can sound a bit scary — especially at night.

Long distance champions!

 

The tiny red-necked stint can fly more than 3,200 kilometres in one go — that’s almost six times the distance from Gladstone to Brisbane.

Gladstone's favourite feathery red-necked visitor​

 

The red-necked stint (Calidris ruficollis) is a very common and very small migratory shorebird (or wader) that visits Gladstone and other parts of Australia.

These tiny birds travel thousands of kilometres every year to reach Australia from the Siberian tundra where they breed. Once the seasons change and Australia's summer becomes autumn and winter, the red-necked stints will do the whole trip in reverse!


The reddish colouring on their necks (as seen in the photo below) only comes up during breeding season in the northern hemisphere, so we would very rarely get to see a red-necked stint in full breeding plumage in Australia.

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Red-necked stints love water so you are most likely to spot a group (or flock) of them around North Curtis Island and the Fitzroy Estuary.

Red-necked stint profile
Scientific name
Calidris ruficollis
Endangered status
Listed as a marine and migratory bird on the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 and as a shorebird under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992
Classification
Bird
Life span
Known to live for more than 18 years
Diet
Omnivore
Habitat
Coastal areas - mudflats, mangroves, lagoons
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Click here for the crossword solution

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​Clues to the eastern curlew

The eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) is the largest of the migratory shorebirds to visit Gladstone and Australia. Also known as the Australian curlew, sea curlew, or the far eastern curlew, this species is easily identified by its long down-curved bill, which can be more than 18.5 centimetres in length (check out the bills on these birds in the picture below!).

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Like the red-necked stint, eastern curlews love wetland landscapes — places such as mudflats, mangroves, coastal lagoons and Gladstone Harbour — where they use their bill to fish out worms, molluscs, and crustaceans from deep mud or sand.

Eastern curlews breed in the northern hemisphere and come to rest in Australia and in a few other countries. Have a look at this map to see how far they travel every year!

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Scientists believe about 28,000 eastern curlews visit Australia in August each year. But populations are falling in Queensland and the species is now listed as Near Threatened under the state's Nature Conservation Act 1992.

 
Eastern curlew profile
Scientific name
Numenius madagascariensis
Endangered status
Listed as a marine and migratory bird on the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 and as a shorebird under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992​
Classification
Bird
Diet
Carnivore
Habitat
Coastal areas - mudflats, mangroves, lagoons

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