Bird Habitat

Saline lakes around the world are important nesting, feeding and staging areas for all types of waterbirds. The saline soda lakes of east Africa are renowned habitats for pink flamingoes. Lakes Natron and Bahi, for example, have distinctively large populations of flamingos. According to a recent aerial survey, Lake Natron has the highest concentration of flamingos in East Africa. Both the greater and lesser flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber and Phoeniconaias minor) are found at these lakes, with the lesser flamingo outnumbering the greater by 100 to one.

Mono Lake, California is designated an International Reserve in the Western Hemisphere Reserve Network with nearly 2 million waterbirds (including 35 species of shorebirds, e.g., Western phalaropes, American avocets, Western and Least sandpipers, Snowy plovers, White-faced ibises, Dowitchers) using it as a food and rest stop for at least part of the year. Mono Lake is also home to the second largest California Gull rookery in North America (Great Salt Lake is the largest). Another major staging and feeding area for migratory and shore birds is the Salton Sea which supports the greatest diversity of birds of any U.S. National Wildlife refuge. Redberry Lake (Saskatchewan) has been designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This lake serves as a significant staging, nesting and feeding area for Canada Geese (Branta canadensis), Tundra Swans (Cygna columbianus), and about 30 000 ducks. Over 188 species of birds 'hang out' and nest here including the Piping Plover (Chara-drius melodus), a small endangered shorebird. American White Pelicans (Pelecanus erthror-hynchos) are also summer inhabitants.

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