Australian Waterbirds or Wetland Areas

Birds found in Australia in or near bodies of water (mostly freshwater and wetlands)

Avocets (Wetland Birds)

  • Red-necked Avocet (Recurvirostra novaehollandiae) – Range: Found throughout Australia, except for the northern parts of the Northern Territory

White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

Bird of Prey Hunting in Water (Freshwater Hunters)

  • Ospreys (P. h. cristatus) – Range: Along the coastline of, and along some large rivers within, Australia
  • White-bellied Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster) – Resident on coasts and major waterways

Bitterns (Wetland Birds / Waders)


Eastern Curlew

Curlews (Waders)


Dowitcher (Waders)


Egrets (Shallow Water / Wetland Habitats)

Eastern Reef Egret
Eastern Great Egret (Ardea modesta)

Striated Heron, Butorides striata, also known as Mangrove Heron or Little Heron

Herons (Waders)


Straw-necked Ibis, Threskiornis spinicolli

Ibises (Waders)

Australian White Ibis, Threskiornis molucca

Jacanas (Waders)

  • Comb-crested Jacanas (Irediparra gallinacea), also known as the Lotusbird or Lilytrotter – Range: Northern and eastern Australia

Knots (Waders)

  • Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris) – Range: Winter visitor

Banded Lapwing

Lapwings (Waders)


Oystercatchers (Waders)

South Island Oystercatcher, Haematopus finschi
Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus)

Pelicans (Found in inland and coastal waters)

Erect-crested Penguins

Penguins (Shore / Sea)


Plovers (Waders)

  • Caspian Plover (Charadrius asiaticus) – Range: Vagrant
  • Greater Sand Plover (Charadrius leschenaultii) – Range: Winter visitor
  • Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola), known as the Black-bellied Plover in North America – Seabirds
Greater Sand Plover

Sanderlings (Waders)

  • Sanderling (Calidris alba, syn. Crocethia alba or Erolia alba) – Range: Winters in Australia

Snipe (Waders)

  • Latham’s Snipe (Gallinago hardwickii) aka Japanese Snipe – Range: Winters in eastern Australia, where it is the commonest Gallinago snipe
  • Pintail Snipe (Gallinago stenura) aka Pin-tailed Snipe – Range: Vagrant to north-western and northern Australia

Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes)

Spoonbills (Waders)

  • Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia) also known as the Black-billed Spoonbill – Range: Fresh and saltwater wetlands in Australia
  • Yellow-billed Spoonbill (Platalea flavipes): Common in south-east Australia

Stilts (Waders)

Banded Stilts
Pied Stilt

Red-necked Stint (Calidris ruficollis)

Stints (Waders)


Stone-curlews (Waders)

Beach Stone-curlew, Esacus giganteus also known as Beach Thick-knee

More Birds Found in Australia

Birds of Inland Waters, Marshes and Wetlands: Ducks, Geese, Shelducks, Shovelers, Moorhens, Crakes, Rails, Grebes, Cormorants, Cranes, Darters, Swans and Storks


Sea and Shorebirds: Birds mostly occurring on the shore or out on the ocean (Seabirds) (Albatrosses, Petrels, Fulmars, Frigatebirds, Godwits, Gannets, Gulls, Sandpipers, Shearwaters, Tattlers, Terns)


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