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Pedionomidae – Plains-wanderer

Plains-wanderer in Australia, the only place it can be found: Photo by Ian Davies

Welcome to our guide on Pedionomidae, found in Australia and featuring a single species. This family of birds is intriguing for its rarity and unique adaptation to its environment.

Overview of Pedionomidae

Although the Plains-wanderer is thought to be most active at dawn and dusk, it is more easily found at night, resting on sparsely grassed plains. These birds are typically hesitant to fly and can be followed for some distance using a car equipped with a searchlight. With an upright posture and deliberate movements, they more closely resemble a miniature ratite than other shorebirds. Plains-wanderers exhibit serial polyandry, with males primarily responsible for parental care and females displaying brighter coloration. Occasionally, females may also contribute; they are known for their vigilance, often standing on tiptoes with necks stretched and heads bobbing as they watch for predators.