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What do birds do in hurricanes?

Like us, they just do their best. Some will try to flee, and others will shelter in place.

Royal Terns | Christopher Rowe
News

What do birds do in hurricanes?

Like us, they just do their best. Some will try to flee, and others will shelter in place.

Right now, Florida is facing a catastrophic threat from Hurricane Irma. Many Floridians are evacuating to avoid the impacts of the storm, and many birds are doing the same.

We are currently in fall migration, with the Atlantic Flyway’s birds streaming down the Atlantic Seaboard through Florida and across the Caribbean. Some of these birds will detour around Hurricane Irma to avoid it. Others will use it to their advantage- tagged shorebirds have been documented flying through hurricanes and even using their prevailing tailwinds for a boost.

Many other birds, however, will become trapped in the storm. Radar images often show birds in the eye of hurricanes, unable to escape through the eyewall. And hurricanes are renowned for blowing birds many miles off course, with rare seabirds and Caribbean birds found after landfall in the most unlikely places in our state. Some species will shelter in place, finding places for refuge or holding on to thick branches. After we know more about the impacts of the storm, we'll share updates on our website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Hurricane Irma is a serious threat, and we at Audubon are preparing for the worst while hoping for the best...for our birds, our state and you. Please stay safe, and best wishes from Audubon Florida's family to yours.

For more information on Hurricane Irma and how you can prepare, visit FloridaDisaster.org. Audubon's nature centers and offices in Florida may be closed during this time, and all closures will be posted here.

 

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