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In October and November last year, many Short-tailed Shearwaters (Mutton birds) were found dead on local beaches including Little Bay:

Short-tailed Shearwater (Mutton bird) found dead at Little Bay, November 2013

Short-tailed Shearwater (Mutton bird) found dead at Little Bay, November 2013

An explanation for their demise in such large numbers can be found here.

Every year from late March onwards, thousands of shorebirds leave the shores of Australia to embark on their arduous 10,000 km journey northwards to breeding grounds in Siberia and the Arctic. Late in the year, they make a return journey to their summer habitats in Australia.

If you are interested in learning more about Mutton birds and some of the other 35 migratory Australian shorebird species, BirdLife Australia is organising a nationwide event, Farewell Shorebirds.

Farewell Shorebirds will run from mid-April until mid-May, concluding on World Migratory Bird Day (10 May). The campaign:

  • highlights the captivating story of the shorebirds’ annual global migration from Australia to the Arctic
  • explores why the birds make this incredible journey
  • explains how they rely on Australia’s wetlands, coastlines and estuaries for their survival.

Farewell Shorebirds is an online campaign supported by new and existing on-ground activity. Register online to:

  • farewell Australia’s amazing Shorebirds this April / May
  • follow news of this year’s migration
  • receive weekly webcasts
  • find out about local birding activities
  • enter a draw for prizes.

For more about BirdLife Australia’s work to protect and foster understanding of our shorebirds, see Australia’s national shorebird monitoring program – Shorebirds 2020.

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