Budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), Flocking to find water, Summer, Northern Territory, Australia
Mumurations of budgies form over a shrinking water hole -------------------------During the summer months in central Australia (November to February), the temperature can be in the 40s and water is scarce. I knew that budgies (Melopsittacus undulatus) would start to flock together as they sought out what little water remained . It was a challenge to locate where they might gather but I heard reports from an area south of the town of Alice Springs. I drove up and down the desert searching the horizon for flocks. I eventually found a small waterhole littered with little green feathers and fresh droppings. I returned just before dawn. It was silent but it wasn’t long before the sky above me was filled with the flutters of thousands of budgies, all desperate to drink. Birds of prey also gathered to take advantage. To confuse the hunting raptors the budgies erupted into mesmerising clouds of green, creating huge murmurations like starlings in the UK.