Photographer’s incredible images of budgie bonanza

By Australian Geographic 20 April 2021
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Budgies are in abundance in the Red Centre this year thanks to good rainfall over the summer.

THE RESIDENTS OF Alice Springs have sighted plenty of small flocks of budgies in recent months. Now, reports of flocks up to 5,000 strong, darkening the skies over local water sources, have been confirmed.

Budgies normally travel in flocks of around 100, but they have been breeding prolifically this year due to good rain. This is a normal part of the boom-bust cycle of central Australia.

Related: Budgerigars: Australia’s colourful, clever and much-loved avian gift to the world

When the rains dry up, the inflated population goes in search of water and massive numbers converge on available sources – often manmade dams and bore holes – creating an impressive spectacle. Residents report that they haven’t seen anything quite on the current scale for over a decade.

Photographer Angus Newey, who works for the Alice Springs Desert Park, was in a perfect position to capture the incredible event.