Hurricanes are a part of life every year in Florida. When locals and visitors evacuate to avoid the impacts of the storm, many birds do 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 hurricanes to avoid them. 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.