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Article and images by Simone Bosshard, coastal conservation and permits officer, Sunshine Coast Council.

As migratory shorebirds flock to the Sunshine Coast from the northern hemisphere, council has launched 2 new murals to send shorebird awareness soaring.

To spread the word on the importance of protecting these birds, Caloundra artist Steven Bordonaro painted a mural at Keith Hill Park near the Bells Creek boat ramp. The mural was funded by Division Two Councillor Terry Landsberg.

Sunshine Coast artist David Houghton painted a mural at North Shore Road, Mudjimba, which was funded through the environment levy.

The murals showcase a mix of migratory shorebirds which call the Sunshine Coast home each summer, and resident shorebirds you can see all year round.

Migratory shorebirds fly more than 10,000 km from Siberia and Alaska to spend the summer at the shores of the Pumicestone Passage and Maroochy River. While visiting the Sunshine Coast, migratory shorebirds must more than double their body weight to gain essential energy for their long journey back. Day and night, they feed on our local mudflats and sandbanks during low tide. Any disturbance while feeding or resting can cause them to fly off and waste precious energy.

Council’s shorebird conservation action plan guides our contribution to the world-wide conservation efforts to protect these threatened birds.

To better understand which shorebirds and how many of them visit and live on the Sunshine Coast, council recommenced surveys last summer, building on long term data collected by the Queensland wader study group. Regular surveys will continue this summer.

Shorebirds are the world’s most threatened species of birds. Beachgoers can help to share our coast with the shorebirds by:

  • observing from a distance using binoculars
  • choosing a location away from the birds for your activities
  • keeping dogs under control
  • taking your rubbish home.

North Shore mural includes whimbrel (migratory), great knot (migratory, critically endangered), greater sandplover (migratory, vulnerable), grey-tailed tattler (migratory), red-capped plover (resident shorebird).

Bells Creek mural includes pied stilt (resident shorebird), double-banded plover (migratory), curlew sandpiper (migratory, critically endangered), red-necked stint (migratory), Australian pelican (resident waterbird), royal spoonbill (resident waterbird).