Thousands of birds die in sweltering heat

"THOUSANDS of birds have dropped dead at the Overlander Roadhouse, 200km south of Carnarvon, apparently perishing from extreme heat and lack of water. Temperatures have topped 45C during a two-week heat wave which is thought to have cooked the birds, mostly juvenile budgerigars and zebra finches.

Populations of budgerigars, crimson chat, cockatiel, and zebra finch have exploded throughout the lower Murchison, about 3 hours northeast of Geraldton, after unseasonably high winter and spring rainfall sparked a breeding frenzy.

The population boom has pushed large numbers of inland species out of their normal range into areas in the Midwest and eastern Wheatbelt that offer limited water and shade, a district manager with the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) said."

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