World Migratory Bird Day – How you can help protect South East Queensland’s shorebirds

Photo credit: Arthur Keates

This month we are celebrating World Migratory Bird Day, and the theme is “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!”. The theme is an invitation to connect with nature by actively listening to – and watching birds – wherever they are.

There are non-disruptive ways you can enjoy Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) migratory and resident shorebirds.

When visiting bird hides or vantage points around the area, follow these easy tips – and don’t forget your binoculars!

  • Look out for shorebirds and keep your distance – disturbing feeding and resting means the birds don’t conserve as much energy, reducing their survival chances.
  • Keep dogs on a leash – Off-leash dogs can scare, disrupt and hurt birds.
  • Put rubbish in the bin – Birds can swallow or become tangled in litter.
  • Avoid driving on beaches during shorebird season (Sep-March) – Cars scare birds and many resident shorebirds nest on the beach.
  • Keep cats inside and report sightings of pest animals such as foxes, feral cats and feral pigs to local government – These pest animals predate on shorebirds and their eggs.

If you would like to be involved in the protection of shorebirds, please contact the Queensland Wader Study Group.

Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) is a popular destination for migrating shorebirds, with 30,000 migratory shorebirds visiting each year in September to March to enjoy our warmer months.

During their migration, shorebirds fly a defined route known as the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, which the birds follow from Australia and New Zealand, along the shores of Korea, China and Japan, to Far East Russia and Alaska and then back again – a 26,000km round trip each year!

They use clever strategies to help reduce energy consumption during their flight, but when they arrive, they’re hungry! They tuck into the smorgasbord of food that the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland has to offer.

The birds utilise the diverse array of environments found in Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) and surrounding areas including intertidal mud flats, saltmarsh, mangroves, sand flats and sandy beaches to search for food and roost. They rest and fatten up before flying back to the northern hemisphere to breed during April to August.

Whilst loss of staging posts along the flyway is a major cause of global declines of migratory shorebird populations, threats in Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) and surrounding areas are contributing to these declines.


Doing our part

As part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland project, Healthy Land and Water has assessed migratory shorebird sites across coastal South East Queensland, including the Moreton Bay Ramsar Site, to determine site-specific management actions required.

A University of Queensland research team, led by Professor Richard Fuller, analysed data collected by the Queensland Wader Study Group and found that threats to migratory shorebirds in Quandamooka (Moreton Bay) are contributing to their global decline and need to be addressed.

Healthy Land and Water’s Moreton Bay Shorebirds project is protecting and restoring shorebird roosting and foraging habitat within the Moreton Bay Ramsar site and adjacent areas. This project is squarely aimed at increasing the health of migratory shorebirds

visiting South East Queensland, to give them the best chance of global survival.

Read more about the project here:


This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water through funding from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund.

This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare project.

Popular Stories

Healthy Land and Water 2018: A year in review

Explore News
2018 HAS been a momentous 12 months for Healthy Land and Water; a year filled with success and progress as we continue our mission to improve and protect South East Queensland's…

New $25,000 litter program launched in Caboolture River

Explore News
A car tyre, election signs, chairs, fishing equipment, eskies and three large bags of rubbish were plucked from the Caboolture River during day one of a new waterway litter removal…

South East Queensland, let's catch up!

Explore News
Healthy Land and Water invites you to join our experts in the 2018 Community Forums initiative. The Community Forums will be held following the release of the 2018 Report Card,…

Get in touch

Healthy Land and Water is dedicated to the care of our unique and beautiful land, waterways and biodiversity.

  • Address: Level 19, 160 Ann Street Brisbane QLD 4000
  • PO Box: 13204, George Street Brisbane QLD 4003
  • Phone: (07) 3177 9100
  • Fax: (07) 3177 9190
  • Email:

We won't ever sell or rent your information. Read our Privacy Policy.
© Healthy Land and Water 2022