Mudjimba mural celebrates shorebird season

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A mural at North Shore Road which was painted by Sunshine Coast artist David Houghton features the local shorebirds that make the area their home over summer and includes the Whimbrel (migratory), Great Knot (migratory, critically endangered), Greater Sandplover (migratory, vulnerable), Grey-tailed Tattler (migratory) and the Red-capped Plover (resident shorebird). Photo: Contributed

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

To spread the word on the importance of protecting these birds, Sunshine Coast artist David Houghton painted a mural at North Shore Road, Mudjimba, which was funded through the Environment Levy and another mural is located at Bells Creek.

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

Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Maria Suarez said the Shorebird Conservation Action Plan guided council’s contribution to the world-wide conservation efforts to protect the amazing birds. 

“To better understand which shorebirds and how many of them visit and live on the Sunshine Coast, council undertook surveys last summer, building on long term data collected by the Queensland Wader Study Group,” Cr Suarez said. 

“The surveys discovered a new high tide roost and provided a baseline to monitor and compare against in future years.

“This summer, we’ll continue our shorebird monitoring with regular surveys and awareness campaigns to encourage Sunshine Coast locals to share our coast with these fascinating birds. 

“Council has also released a shorebird video series via Facebook which highlights the importance of supporting the birds.”

Cr Landsberg said the birds were flying in to visit the shores of the Pumicestone Passage and Maroochy River after travelling more than 10,000km from Siberia and Alaska.

“While visiting the Sunshine Coast, migratory shorebirds must more than double their body weight to store essential energy for their long journey back and spend most of their time feeding on our local mudflats and sandbanks,” Cr Landsberg said.

Division 8 Councillor Jason O’Pray encouraged residents and visitors to share our coast with the shorebirds.

“Any disturbance while feeding or resting can cause them to fly off and waste precious energy,” Cr O’Pray said.

“Our waterways in the Pumicestone Passage and Maroochy River are enjoyed by many – and there is space for all of us, including the shorebirds, if we are considerate of other users.”

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.

For results of last season’s surveys please visit our website and follow council’s social media for more information including the best locations to view the birds.

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