Through the Storm

Whimbrel (nicknamed Upinraaq) at the MacKenzie River, Canada. She winters in Brazil. ()photo courtesy cccbirds.org
Whimbrel (nicknamed Upinraaq) at the MacKenzie River, Canada. She winters in Brazil. (photo by Fletcher Smith, the Center for Conservation Biology)

What happens to birds who migrate over the ocean during hurricane season?  Do they run into major storms?

Indeed they do.  Since 2007 when the Center for Conservation Biology began satellite-tracking whimbrels they’ve seen 9 of them fly through hurricanes or tropical storms.  All 9 birds survived!

This year when Upinraaq (above) launched from Newfoundland on her transoceanic journey, she had no idea she’d encounter Tropical Storm Erika.  By the time she hit Erika’s 46 mile per hour winds she’d already been flying non-stop for three days. Nonetheless she flew straight through the storm and made landfall at Suriname.

However, her destination is Brazil and she faces a big challenge in Suriname before she gets home.  Click here to read about her land-side challenge and the amazing feats of migrating whimbrels (one flew through Hurricane Irene!) at the CCB’s blog: Whimbrel Tracked Into Tropical Storm Erika.

 

(photo by Fletcher Smith via the Center for Conservation Biology. Click on the image to see the photo and read the story of Upinraaq.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.