Water And Oceanography

How Birds use Estuaries as Resting and Feeding Places



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Estuaries are protected places that have rivers and streams that provide fresh water for a wide variety of wildlife and birds. Estuaries can be found all across the world. In and around estuaries is a variety of habitats that attract the wildlife and birds. Estuaries are rich in nutrients because of the plants that decay there. They also provide food for wildlife and birds. Birds can be found in abundance in estuaries. Plants, fish and other animal life in the estuaries provide food for these birds. When birds migrate, they need a place to rest and feed; an estuary is the perfect place.

Birds that have long legs are quite common in estuaries because they can wade through the water easily. Birds use the estuaries to catch their food like crabs, fish and worms by using their bills. Many estuaries can be found along coastlines. An estuary has a very complex food web that helps to support diversity of wildlife and birds. Some species of birds make their homes in an estuary permanently. Before migratory birds continue their long journey, the estuary provides them a place to gain new strength.

Many birds depend on estuaries to nest and reproduce. A mallard is a migratory bird that uses an estuary as a stopover to rest and feed. People who love to bird-watch are attracted to estuaries, and many nature lovers are, too. There are quite a few estuaries in the United States along the coasts that provide natural habitat for wildlife and birds. These estuaries provide recreational areas for tourists, as well. Estuaries contain fresh water and salt water mix, and this is what attracts a wide variety of wildlife and birds. Many species of birds depend on an estuary to provide them the shelter they need, whether if it is just for a short while or a permanent home.

Healthy estuaries are very valuable to many types of wildlife and birds. In the United States, 75 percent of the water fowl migrate. Brackish water in an estuary provides nourishment for these types of birds. Large populations of shorebirds and nesting seabirds use the estuaries for food, rest, nests, water and more. Nutrients in the estuaries come from the water that is carried in by rivers, streams and rainwater. Estuaries are very critical to the survival of tens of thousands of birds. Different species of birds use different parts of the estuary. Sometimes it will depend on the position of the tide.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwep6a.htm
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://kids.nceas.ucsb.edu/biomes/estuaries.html
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/estuaries/estuaries02_economy.html