Bird watchers paradise at Kerang

     
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The Middle Lake ibis rookery near Kerang is a popular destination on the tourist calendar for both nature lovers and bird watchers alike. The rookery has been recognised as the largest breeding ground in the world for the ibis and with numbers exceeding the tens of thousands, two species of ibis have made the lake their home and favoured nesting ground.

The White ibis and the Straw Necked Ibis are the most common species found although the Royal Spoonbill does nest amongst the ibis in smaller numbers. Other spectacular birds which can be found at the site include pelican, swans, egrets and ducks. In fact there has been around 260 different species of bird documented in the area.

The wooden, elevated bird hide allows visitors to openly study the birds without any disturbing impacts while barbecue and toilet facilities make things just that little bit more comfortable. The most popular viewing times are sunrise and sunset when thousands of birds take flight.

During a good breeding season large colonies can be seen nesting on islands of lignum and reeds which have been bent over and trampled to form nests. The irrigated pastures in the Kerang area attract insects including crickets, grasshoppers, grubs which are ideal food sources for these hungry birds.

They can travel 30-40 kilometres in search of food which is fed to the chicks partially digested.

When the breeding season is finished the While the ibis disperse widely across Australia except for the inland of Western Australia. This species is extremely nomadic and can travel vast distances – the CSIRO placed bands onto the legs of some of the middle lake species which were returned from New Guinea.

Within the 40 km between Kerang and Lake Boga there are 57 lakes. The river channel has branched numerous times, creating a maze of meandering tributaries which are home to thousands of birds. Many of these lakes are frequented by duck shooters and holiday-makers, seeking to relax and enjoy the many water-based recreational activitiesibis rookery

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