Tropical Cyclones

History shows that pelagic seabirds are often displaced by tropical cyclones. Looking back I remember seeing Sooty Terns on Lake Seminole in Jackson County (Tropical Storm Fay) and Magnificent Frigatebirds gliding over Lake Lafayette in Tallahassee (Tropical Storm Debbie). I was driving back from Chicago with my parents when Hurricane Hermine hit Tallahassee last September; Tallahassee birders spotted Sooty Terns, a Bridled Tern and Magnificent Frigatebirds over Lake Jackson during that storm. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew brought a Black-capped Petrel to Newnan’s Lake in Gainesville. An incredible inland record that shows the effects tropical storms have on birds that, under normal conditions, spend the majority of their lives out on the open ocean. So, as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida I am wondering what birds she will bring with her.

sooty tern

 


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