FLYWAY_182x116 On the Wing Program provides “pop-up” habitat for migratory birds. 1-FLYWAY_60x60 1-FLYWAY-310X405 Ecologist Greg Golet surveys the rice fields that double as temporary wetlands for millions of migratory birds in the Sacramento Valley. 1-FLYWAY_60x60 2-FLYWAY-310X405 A flock of dunlin, small shorebirds that migrate in large and often striking formations, lifts off from a flooded rice field in Colusa, California. 3-FLYWAY_60x60 3-FLYWAY-615X417 Doug Thomas was one of 32 California rice farmers who delayed draining certain fields this spring to provide wetlands for migratory birds. 4-FLYWAY_60x60 4-FLYWAY-615X405 Farmers began growing rice here in the early 1900s, and both domestic and global demand has progres-sively pushed rice production to half a million acres in the Central Valley today. 5-FLYWAY_60x60 5-FLYWAY-615X405 Just a few inches of water in rice fields can be a lifesaver
for waterfowl and shorebirds passing through the Sacramento Valley. 6-FLYWAY_60x60 6-FLYWAY-615X405 As many as 20,000 dunlin at a time flocked to the temporary wetlands created by the Conservancy’s BirdReturns program this spring.