|Dunlin Calidris alpina|
A calidrid wader
Waders, called Shorebirds in North America (where "wader" is used to refer to long-legged wading birds such as storks and herons), are members of the Charadriiformes order of birds, but excluding the more marine web-footed seabird groups. The latter are the skuas (Stercoraracidae), gulls (Laridae), terns (Sternidae), skimmers (Rhynchopidae), sheathbill Chionididae and auks (Alcidae).
This leaves about 210 species, most of which are associated with wetland or coastal environments. Many species of Arctic and temperate regions are strongly migratory, but tropical birds are often resident, or move only in response to rainfall patterns. Some of the Arctic species, such Little Stint are amongst the longest distance migrants, wintering in the southern hemisphere
The majority of species eat small invertebrates picked out of the mud or soil. Different lengths of bills enable different species to feed in the same habitat, particularly on the coast, without direct competition for food.
Many of the smaller species found in coastal habitats, particularly but not exclusively the calidrids, are often named as "Sandpipers", but this term does not have a strict meaning, since the Upland Sandpiper is a grassland species.
The following shows the groups of Charadriiform birds normally classed as waders. The approximate number of species is in brackets.
See also list of birds