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Australian bird habitats:
Ephemeral wetland

Description of habitat

Significant rain events in the mostly flat interior of the Australian continent lead to flows of large amounts of water in watercourses many of which will at some point fall dry again. Remnant water surfaces will remain for some time in many shallow depressions - these are called ephemeral wetlands (see also ephemeral lakes). Some species of aquatic birds never fail to find these wet areas as a place to stay for as long as possible.

There is a separate page describing permanently water-logged areas, i.e. swamps.

Bird species found in this type of habitat or plant

This is not necessarily a complete list. We display here some examples of bird species found by us in this kind of habitat or plant. Hover your cursor on thumbnails to see names of species; click on thumbnail to go to the page describing the species.


Temporarily water-logged grassland in a shallow depression in outback NSW

One can still see that this shallow depression has been used in the past as a wheat field, but the reeds lining the waterhole indicate that it is wet most of the time

Wide-angle view of a shallow, usually dry, creek crossing a road in inland NSW after a major rainfall event; water can stand there for months, giving aquatic birds enough time to breed

Overview of the abundance of birdlife in an ephemeral wetland, in this case a temporarily submerged commercial cropping field, in inland NSW months after a major flood event

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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