Ray White Emms Mooney – Above

Ibis Birds Flock To Cowra After Big Wet

Written by: The Cowra Phoenix

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IMAGE: Glossy ibis showing their iridescent green-and purple feathers. Photo credit: Warren Chad.

People in the Central West around Cowra and Forbes may have recently noticed the increased activity of Straw-necked ibis in their paddocks, parks and playing fields.

Sometimes known as the ‘Farmers Friend’, they love to gorge on grasshoppers and locusts that threaten crops. They depend on healthy wetlands to build their nests, and unlike their cousins, the White ibis, these birds are not likely to be found raiding backyard bins and avoid humans.

With more water around, ibises are beginning an important nesting ritual – trampling. The ‘trampling’ stage of nesting occurs when waterbirds begin to construct their nests, squashing wetland plants like lignum shrubs to create a soft and protected home for their chicks.

Waterbirds in the Lachlan have already started breeding, and while it is early days, we have our fingers crossed for a large-scale breeding event in the Lachlan or Lowbidgee wetlands this year. Stay tuned to keep an eye on how water-bird breeding is tracking this season or get in touch for more information.

By Michele Groat, Local Engagement Officer for the Commonwealth Environmental Water

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