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Roebuck Bay's Shorebirds

Broome is a world class bird watching area, where thousands of migratory shorebirds arrive after an epic migration from their northern breeding areas to feed in the rich mudflats of Roebuck Bay.

The Broome region is regarded as the most significant site in Australia for shorebirds, with Roebuck Bay entertaining the greatest diversity of shorebirds on the planet.  As the end stage of the East Asian – Australasian Flyway, one of nine major migratory waterbird flyways around the globe,  Roebuck Bay is the arrival and departure point for the Australian populations of several species, including the Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica).

These mudflasts feature exceptionally high (globally) macro-invertebrate biomass which feeds at least 29 different species of shorebirds with various bill sizes and shapes and feeding techniques.  Total numbers of shorebirds in some years have been estimated at over 100,000 individuals.  The highest number of shorebirds counted at Roebuck Bay was 170,900 in October 1983.



Broome’s Shorebird Species

Shorebirds encountered around the shores of Broome’s Roebuck Bay include:


Bar-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit

Little Curlew


Eastern Curlew

Terek Sandpiper

Common Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Grey-tailed Tattler

Common Greenshank

Wood Sandpiper

Ruddy Turnstone

Asian Dowitcher

Great Knot

Red Knot

Great Knot


Red-necked Stint

Long-toed Stint

Sharp-tailed Sandpiper

Curlew Sandpiper

Terek Sandpiper

Broad-billed Sandpiper

Greater Sand Plover

Oriental Plover

Lesser Sand Plover

Red-capped Plover

Grey Plover

Pied Oystercatcher

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