Friday, August 26, 2011

Looking like a really nasty one coming Category 1 ( 85-90+ mph winds)

Hurricane Irene bearing down on us no doubt has a severe impact on birds , especially those migrating.  Coast watchers birders often gather---courageously-- to look for blown in pelagic birds fleeing ahead the dangerous hurricanes.  But  I doubt few birders will try that at Breezy Point, Far Rockaways, etc but surely some will be out there.

Post storms sometimes dumped exhausted pelagic birds onto inland lakes and ponds...So its a good idea to just check Monday morning Prospect Lake...I will try to look but  xpecting severe tree damage to clean up  no doubt will be an exhausting day for me with the MTA public transportation totally shutdown till Monday 6 am and affecting most of the workers...

Here's a Cornell Q/A article for more on Hurricane affected birds:

Birds and Hurricanes

Q. How do hurricanes affect migrating birds, and is there anything we can do to help the birds that have been negatively affected?

A. Each year, migratory birds cross the Gulf of Mexico during the hurricane season. Birds wait for favorable winds and weather before taking flight, so they won’t try to fly during a hurricane. If a migrant lands at a spot that has been devastated by storms, it will continue onward in search of better stopover areas.

Unfortunately, sometimes migratory birds get caught in bad weather while crossing open water. Although migrants have enough fat (fuel reserves) to make the 600-mile Gulf crossing in favorable winds, they may not have enough energy to survive if they have to fight against headwinds. Preserving critical coastal habitats is important for exhausted migrants.

Resident birds in hurricane areas also suffer when their food supplies, such as fruits and berries, are stripped from trees and shrubs.

Birds and hurricanes have coexisted for millennia, and given the chance, healthy bird populations can rebound from the effects of natural disasters. Unfortunately, humans are making this difficult for some birds because we have destroyed so much of their original habitats. With fewer birds and fewer places where they can live, hurricanes pose greater threats to vulnerable bird populations. For this reason, one of the best things we can do to protect birds from hurricanes is work to ensure that there are enough birds and places for them so they have the opportunity to rebound.