Coastal waterbirds

Subject: Coastal waterbirds
Date: Wed, 24 Nov 2004 09:06:48 +1100

Edwin wrote "With all the rain in coastal NSW recently, lots of water birds are heading for the east coast."

Not sure whether this logic stands.  I would have thought lack of rain inland would result in waterbirds heading for the coast.  

As a general rule, permanent wetlands are common on the coast whereas inland wetlands are often ephemeral.  The coast therefore is a good drought refuge for waterbirds (even when the coast itself may be experiencing drought).  The inland wetlands, when they fill, are far more productive and thus, are the major breeding areas for many of Australia's waterbirds.

The recent rain on the coast has filled those ephemeral wetlands that occur on the floodplains and present a wonderful picture.  I wonder, however, if the number of waterbirds has increased or whether these wetlands are just more obvious now because people notice the fact that there's water everywhere (and therefore there are birds everywhere).


David Geering
Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator
Department of Environment & Conservation
P.O. Box 2111
Dubbo  NSW  2830
Ph: 02 6883 5335 or Freecall 1800 621 056
Fax: 02 6884 9382

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