Why Some Bird Species Have It Worse After the Latest Hurricanes
Harvey, Irma, Jose, and Maria blew birds off course and harmed food sources.
As residents of the Caribbean struggle to recover from series of hurricanes over the past two months, so do the islands’ feathered friends. The high winds, heavy rains, and flooding that wrecked so many homes and businesses also posed serious threats to wildlife.
Preliminary reports indicate that some populations of birds experienced a far greater impact from the hurricanes than others. A breeding colony of more than 50,000 American flamingoes (Phoenicopterus ruber) managed to evacuate the island of Inagua before the arrival of Hurricane Irma, and conservationists have reported their return.
In the Cayo Coco Cays of Cuba, however, biologists have spotted thousands of dead birds. On the hard-hit islands of Puerto Rico and Barbuda, wildlife impacts are still unclear as