Budgerigars are flocking to the Outback in mind-boggling numbers, putting on quite a show for awestruck grey nomads.
Perfect breeding conditions across the country have led to an explosion in the budgie population, and it’s causing a great deal of excitement.
Mark Carter, Alice Springs bird watcher and trained zoologist, told the ABC that it was hard to comprehend how many birds there were out there at the moment.
“It’s got to be one of the most iconic sights in the Outback,” he said. “One of the great natural wonders of the world is these huge budgie flocks.”
One of the best times to see the birds is at dawn when they flock in their thousands to drink at water holes or dams across the red centre.
Mr Cater said the huge numbers was due to a combination of factors.
“We had rain at the perfect time here and they bred up in other parts of Australia and gathered here,” he said.
Those budgies subsequently have stayed and continued to breed, and have thrived thanks to an abundance of food due to low cattle numbers.
“They feel a lot of safety in numbers,” he told the ABC. “Any predator that decides to turn up here to try an ambush, the budgies have got a real advantage … if a bird of prey does come through and give them a fright, they react in the blink of an eye.”
Once food resources in the area start to dwindle, the numbers of budgies will drop.
“The budgies are just going to move on,” said Mr Carter. “They’re going to go and look for pastures new.”