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Australian bird habitats: freshwater lake

Aboriginal names: "sanda" = Lake; "terang" = freshwater lake

Description of habitat

Freshwater lakes attract lots of bird species as a source of drinking water, food resources (aquatic animals, insects, plants), shelter and nesting places. Accordingly the diversity of bird species found in this kind of habitat is large. As opposed to ephemeral lakes, which can be dry over long periods of time, permanent freshwater lakes are usually lined with dense vegetation, such as for example reeds.

In a continent as flat and dry as Australia, permanent inland freshwater lakes are scarce, which makes them particularly valuable habitats. Especially in dry years many birds can therefore also be found around farm dams.

There is a separate page describing ephemeral lakes.

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.

Photos

The tree-lined shore of Myall Lake on the NSW central coast

Reeds

"dharill" [gamilaraay], "pankarra", "tareel" [Aboriginal] = reeds

Reeds form a very important habitat along various water surfaces (mostly lakes, but also along stretches of rivers and creeks), which is why they are mentioned separately here. In such reeds a number of non-aquatic species also make their homes.

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.

Photos

Reeds along the shores of lakes offer birds protection and food; here, for example a Plum-headed Finch

Little Pied Cormorant swimming out of reeds into the open water of a freshwater lake
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, April 2013]

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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