Observations - Seabirds and Shorebirds

Victoria has a wide variety of coastal and inland habitats which support a diverse population of seabirds and shorebirds. Many species are difficult to find and identify, they can easily go un-noticed or simply viewed as dots on the beach.

This section helps to expand our appreciation of Victoria’s seabirds and shorebirds through sharing observations.

The number of seabirds and shorebirds on Victoria’s Threatened fauna Advisory List  is alarming and testament to how these species have been impacted upon by human activity.


Seabirds on Victoria’s Threated Species Advisory List

Critically endangered




Near threatened

  • Black-faced Cormorant
  • Caspian Tern
  • Common Diving-Petrel
  • Northern Giant-Petrel
  • Pacific Gull
  • Pied Cormorant
  • Whiskered Tern
  • White-fronted Tern
  • White-winged Black Tern


Shorebirds on Victoria’s Threated Species Advisory List

Critically endangered

  • Australian Painted Snipe
  • Greater Sand Plover
  • Lesser Sand Plover


  • Curlew Sandpiper
  • Great Knot
  • Grey Plover
  • Red Knot
  • Terek Sandpiper


  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Common Greenshank
  • Common Sandpiper
  • Eastern Curlew
  • Hooded Plover
  • Inland Dotterel
  • Marsh Sandpiper
  • Pacific Golden Plover
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Whimbrel
  • Wood Sandpiper

Near threatened

  • Australian Pratincole
  • Latham's Snipe
  • Long-toed Stint
  • Pectoral Sandpiper
  • Sanderling
  • Sooty Oystercatcher

Adapted from : Threatened  fauna Advisory List (Department of Environment, Land, Water & Planning (2013)



Seabirds mainly feed at sea, they can roost or nest in coastal environments such as open beaches, islands and cliffs where they tend to be safer from land predators such as foxes and cats.

Cape Bridgewater Crested Terns

Crested Terns resting on the expanse of ocean beach at Bridgewater Bay, Victoria. Image: Rosanna Riddington.

Crested Terns Cape Bridgewater

Crested Terns.  Image: Rosanna Riddington.

Gannet colony at Portland

Australasian Gannet Gannet colony at Portland. Image: Rosanna Riddington.

Gannets at Portland
Australasian Gannets. Image: Rosanna Riddington.
Gannets diving Bob McPherson
Australasian Gannets diving for food. Image: Bob McPherson
Gannets feeding Bob McPherson
Australasian Gannets feeding frenzy. Image: Bob McPherson. 

Black-browed Albatross Bob McPherson
Black-browed Albatross (sub-adult). Vulnerable. Image: Bob McPherson. 


Black-browed Albatross flying Bob McPherson
Black-browed Albatross (sub-adult). Image: Bob McPherson. 
Black-browed Albatross underside Bob McPherson
Black-browed Albatross (sub-adult). Image: Bob McPherson. 
Black-browed Albatross adult Bob McPhersion
Black-browed Albatross (Adult).  Vulnerable. Image: Bob McPherson. 
Yellow-nosed Albatross Bob McPherson
Yellow-nosed Albatross (Juvenile). Vulnerable. Image: Bob McPherson. 
Yellow-nosed Albatross BobMcPherson
Yellow-nosed Albatross (Adult). Vulnerable. Image: Bob McPherson. 
Shy Albatross Bob McPherson
Shy Albatross - Vulnerable. Image: Bob McPherson. 
Albatross feeding Bob McPherson

Albatross join a feeding frenzy with Gannets and Dolphins in the waters off Portland. Image: Bob McPherson. 

Northern Giant-Petrel Image:Bob McPherson
Northern Giant-Petrel Macronectes halli   Vulnerable EPBC Act . Listed -Victorian FFG Act. Image:Bob McPherson


Wandering Albatross juv Image:bob McPherson
Wandering Albatross (Juvenile).  Endangered. Image: Bob McPherson
Wandering Albatross Juv. Image: Bob McPherson
Wandering Albatross (Juvenile).  Endangered. Image: Bob McPherson






Shorebirds also referred to as waders tend to feed on beaches, intertidal mudflats, salt marshes and rocky shorelines. They can also be found on the shoreline of inland wetlands


Black-fronted Plover Ron Clissold
Black-fronted Plover (not threatened) on inland lake. R. Clissold.
Black-winged Stilt Ron Clissold
Black-winged Stilt (not threatened). R. Clissold.
Hooded Plover

Hooded Plover (vulnerable). Image: Rosanna Riddington.

Latham's Snipe Ron Clissold
Latham's Snipe (near threatened) - R. Clissold.


Pied Oystercatcher Ron Clissold
Pied Oystercatcher (not threatened) - R. Clissold.
Red-kneed Dotterel Ron Clissold
Red-kneed Dotterel (not threatened) - R. Clissold.


Please contribute to the shorebirds images, particularly any of the threatened species mentioned above. Contact SWIFFT.

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