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1% of Global Bittern Population On Two Rice Farms

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In April, we only worked on two rice farms and saw a minimum of 26 Australasian Bitterns, about 1% of the global total. Amazing. Bitterns from harvested crops have moved to the remaining unharvested ones, makingĀ it possible to see these rare concentrations. A farmĀ near Leeton had at least 8 bitterns, while a crop near Coleambally had a record-breaking minimum of 18! Incredible.

The concentrated prey, like tadpoles in puddles around the edge (in the deeper toe furrows), meant it wasn’t just the bitterns gorging themselves before departure. There were also good numbers of many waterbird species, such as Spotted Crakes and Straw-necked Ibis, and raptors too, like Little Eagles and Swamp Harriers. These food-producing wetlands can also produce a wildlife spectacle.

 

Australasian Bittern_TurfFarm_July13_MG_2695

Short films: Bitterns Boom in Rice & Tracking Bunyip Birds

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In 2013, after our first season, we made this short film to help raise awareness about these birds, their rice crop habitats and the work we were beginning to undertake. Can you spot all ten bitterns?

In 2014, as part of our crowdfunding campaign, we made this short film to help raise enough money to undertake a satellite tracking program to determine where the population goes after rice harvest and spends the colder months of the year.

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