A Flood of Birds in Australia


Every ten years or so, flood waters rush through Australia’s Red Centre and transform dry, barren creek beds into rich habitat for water birds.

2009 is one of those years.

This year’s rare flood has drawn huge flocks of silver gulls, banded stilts, gull billed terns, cormorants, black swans and pelicans to feed and breed in the waters.

And all of Australia watches on, enrapt. On a continent plagued by drought and wildlfires, the sight of a dry basin brimming with water and life is magical.

Last year The Nature Conservancy helped protect 1.7 million acres of this vast desert to establish the Kalamurina Wildlife Sanctuary. The preserve is home to rare desert critters and even rarer water sources in an otherwise dry region — and ecologists hope that protection is one way to help mitigate the potential impacts of climate change on the area.

Read more about this amazing spectacle.

(Image: Pelicans flying over flood waters in Australia. Photo courtesy of Wayne Lawler of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy.)

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