[CT Birds] In Support of Hurricanes

Jim Zipp jimzipp at sbcglobal.net
Thu Sep 2 21:10:48 EDT 2010

It was later in the season when Hurricane Gloria stuck CT 25 years  ago... Sept 
28th I think.  Not sure if anyone mentioned it but the  northerly winds that 
will follow this storm might bring a nice  early wave of migrating hawks.  The 
day after Gloria came through I went to my  hawk banding station near Lighthouse 
Pt to find my blind completely  blown away but the table that was inside of it 
still sitting right on  the floorboards where it was the day before.  We slapped 
the blind  together best we could and had a great day netting, banding and  
releasing more than 50 raptors.  This is an earlier storm but still  might bring 
a decent movement to be witnessed by those with an eye to the sky  on Saturday.


The Fat RobinWild Bird and Nature Shop
3000 Whitney Ave.  Hamden, CT 06518
Toll Free U.S.  1-866-Fat-Robin  

Jim Zipp Bird Photography  www.JimZipp.com

From: David F Provencher <david.f.provencher at dom.com>
To: CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Thu, September 2, 2010 6:43:40 PM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] In Support of Hurricanes

While there may be some benefit to a limited number of species, I can't agree 
that hurricanes are generally beneficial for birds today. The few studies I am 
aware of that address the issue of hurricane effects on overall bird populations 
in the affected areas concluded that the storms had as many or more detrimental 
impacts then positive effects on avian populations. In the time before man 
dramatically altered the shoreline, coastal habitat could change with storms 
without dramatic loss of acreage of habitat types. A sand bar could be 
obliterated and reform (that's an over simplification I know) somewhere else. 
Now many coastal habitats are fragmented small relics hemmed in by human 
structures. Loss of that habitat isn't necessarily going to equate to new 
similar habitat showing up somewhere nearby. Griswold Point was breached by a 
nor'easter and functionally disappeared as a barrier beach in the following 
years. Now the Great Island Marsh is largely exposed directly to Long Island 
Sound. The Great Island Marsh/Griswold Point complex is smaller now than it was 
in 1990. In our world today, many of our natural habitats are fragmented and 
bird populations are depressed. If an area that is important to a population is 
lost, and that population is functionally eliminated, there may not be a revival 
on new habitat. The dynamics of change have always been present, and yes animals 
adapt, sometimes, not always. But the margins of survival for many populations 
have changed. The Caribbean is a perfect example of fragmented (by humans more 
than hurricanes) habitats, that hold small populations, being hammered by 
passing hurricanes that ultimately reduce populations or eliminate them 
altogether. The Puerto Rican Bullfinch on St. Kitts for example. And I haven't 
even touched on mortality of birds exposed to the storm directly, as Jayne 
mentioned. Certainly in the past, hurricanes had less affect on bird populations 
overall. It is we that have made those effects more significant. 

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