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The Western Drought Is a Crisis for Migrating Birds, Too

For years, California rice farmers have aided bird migration by flooding their fields in the off season. But this year, they barely have enough water to grow their crops.

Killdeer, one of many shorebird species that migrate through the Sacramento Valley, stop for a drink in a flooded rice field.

Killdeer, one of many shorebird species that migrate through the Sacramento Valley, stop for a drink in a flooded rice field.

Photo courtesy of Jim Morris/California Rice Commission

Corrected

Empty wells. Salmon die-offsWater thieves. The uncontrollable flames of monster wildfire

In California, one of the worst droughts on record has touched off a kaleidoscopic range of emergencies, amplifying age-old resource conflicts as leaders call for conservation by citiescurtailments to farmers and coordination across the board