Nov 10

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Great Salt Lake and Migratory Birds

More than two million birds visit the Great Salt Lake each year.

Image credit: Hermann Luyken

Transcript of the Audio Podcast:

The Great Salt Lake: a travel destination for birds… on this CurrentCast.

The water in the Great Salt Lake is too salty for all but a few highly specialized species, including bacteria, algae, brine shrimp and brine flies. But those shrimp and flies provide an abundant food source for birds.

Murphy: “There have been single counts of over 500,000 Wilson’s Phalaropes, and that’s actually about 30% of the global population. In the late summer and fall there could be upwards of a quarter million American Avocets at the Great Salt Lake.”

That’s Sean Murphy, a wildlife biologist with the US. Geological Survey. He says between two and five million ducks, gulls, waders, and other shore birds rely on the lake each year for food and a place to breed.

Support for CurrentCast comes from the Mitsubishi Corporation Foundation for the Americas. Learn more online at http://www.currentcast.org.

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