Flooded Rice Fields Attract Migrating Birds

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Flooded rice fields in the Sacramento Valley have become an important stop for migrating shorebirds.

Rice farmers fill their fields with water this time of year to kill pests and prepare the fields for next year's planting.

The man-made wetlands attract thousands of shorebirds, who stop in the valley to scrounge for grubs and drink during their annual flights. At least 14 species are known to use the valley to refuel.

"I started paying attention to the shorebirds about 10 years ago, but I never knew there were so many species," said farmer Jack DeWit.

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