Hurricane Isaac and United States birds

This video from the USA says about itself:

Bird Survives Flight Through Hurricane Irene

Researchers tracked the whimbrel as it flew straight into the storm. For more on this story go here.

From eNature blog in the USA:

How Do Birds Deal With Hurricanes Like Isaac?

Posted on Wednesday, August 29, 2012 by eNature

Hurricane Isaac has made landfall and has drenched large parts of Louisiana and Mississippi as we post this entry.

While Isaac’s wind, rain and storm surge will certainly affect many people, some folks are also wondering about the effects it will have on birds in the places the hurricane passes through.

Numbers are hard to come by, but it’s clear that many birds are killed outright by hurricanes. This is especially true of seabirds, which have nowhere in which to seek shelter from these storms. Beaches may be littered with seabird carcasses following major storm events. Most Atlantic hurricanes occur in late summer and early fall—and fall storms coincide with bird migration and may disrupt migration patterns severely.

Many birds get caught up in storm systems and are blown far off course, often landing in inhospitable places or simply arriving too battered and weakened to survive. Others, while not killed or displaced by storms, may starve to death because they are unable to forage while the weather is poor. The number of birds that die as a result of a major hurricanes may run into the hundreds of thousands.

Healthy bird populations are able to withstand such losses and have done so for eons. However, hurricanes can have severe impacts on endangered species, many of which occur on tropical islands, often among the places hardest hit by hurricanes. For example, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 killed half of the wild Puerto Rican Parrots existing at that time. The Cozumel Thrasher, found only on Mexico’s Isla Cozumel, was pushed to the edge of extinction by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Hurricane Iniki may have wiped out the last survivors of as many as three bird species when it hit Hawaii in 1992.

Apart from the direct, physical effects hurricanes may have on birds, they also can have detrimental effects on bird habitats. Cavity-nesting species can be especially hard hit because the trees in which they nest often are blown down or snapped off at the cavity. Hurricane Hugo, which hit the Carolinas in 1989, destroyed most of the area’s nest trees of the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker; one forest lost 87 percent of its nest trees and 67 percent of its woodpeckers. Only through the installation of artificial nest boxes have these populations been restored to pre-storm levels.

Hurricane Isaac … and the seven years since Hurricane Katrina: here.

Hurricane Isaac has demonstrated the power of nature—but poverty decides whether such storms become disasters, writes Dave Sewell: here.

Gulf region remains devastated one week after Hurricane Isaac: here.

Tar balls, oily pelicans, and nearly 18,000 dead nutria found in Hurricane Isaac’s wake: here.

3 thoughts on “Hurricane Isaac and United States birds

  1. Old oil washes up in La. after Hurricane Isaac

    Posted: Sep 05, 2012 12:53 PM Updated: Sep 05, 2012 12:53 PM

    NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Old oil has washed up on some Louisiana beaches after Hurricane Isaac and officials are testing whether it’s left over from BP”s Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.

    Officials late Tuesday restricted fishing in waters extending a mile off a roughly 13-mile stretch of coastline.

    The weathered oil was in the form of tar. The state Wildlife and Fisheries Department said there was a large mat of tar on one beach and concentrations of tar balls on adjacent beaches. An adviser to Gov. Bobby Jindal said later surveys found several more tar mats. Their size was not immediately clear.

    Oil company BP PLC said it was too early to say if the tar came from oil that spewed into the Gulf of Mexico when the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded.

    Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


  2. Pingback: BP in oil spill trial | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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