How do hurricanes affect birds?

How do hurricanes affect birds?

New research project tracks how storms modify birds’ migrations.

Tom Oder

 

 Birds flying in storm clouds

Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have changed the landscape along birds’ migration path from breeding grounds in North America to their winter home in the tropics. (Photo: Toa55/Shutterstock)

Birds and hurricanes have always co-existed in an annual life-and-death struggle. Survival has never come easy for birds, be they migratory land birds, shorebirds or birds that spend most of their time over open water. But 2017 will be especially treacherous, especially for migratory land birds on their journey from breeding grounds in North America to winter homes in the tropics. That’s because two of the most powerful and devastating storms ever recorded have impacted the birds’ eastern flyway, the path that takes them through Florida, and their central flyway through Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas…