Stories, videos and photos by journalist Margaret Badore.
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Millions of birds migrate along the Pacific Flyway each year, traveling along an aerial highway that stretches from Mexico up to the Arctic. Although birds cover impressive distances along the way, they still need places to rest. California was once home to an estimated 4 million acres of wetlands in the pre-settlement 1800s. But today, 90 to 95 percent of that habitat has disappeared.
In seasons of drought, like the one we’ve experienced in the past year, the lack of wetlands can be devastating to bird populations. However a new program in California’s Central Valley is temporarily using farmland to create “pop-up” wetlands, which serve as rest stops for traveling birds.