Hurricane Sandy and the Storm's Effects on Bird Migration

Blackpoll Warblers, migrating long distances across the open waters of the Atlantic in fall, are especially vulnerable to the effects of tropical storms. In 2012, most of them had gone south before Sandy arrived, but some other birds were not so fortunate. 
Photo Credit: Kenn Kaufman.

Sandy was a thousand miles wide and had winds of close to 90 miles per hour as she approached the coast of New Jersey. Most migratory birds weigh only a few ounces, or even less than an ounce for some smaller birds like warblers. Considering the collision of tiny birds and big winds, it stands to reason that bird migration would have been disrupted by the powerful storm. But the effects on birds varied quite a bit, depending on the species involved; here are a few noteworthy examples.


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