Migratory Seabird Deaths Due to Hurricanes

According to latest study, stronger and more frequent hurricanes may pose a new threat to the sooty tern, an iconic species of migratory seabird found throughout the Caribbean and Mid-Atlantic.

According to study, the route the birds take and that most Atlantic-forming hurricanes take is basically the same, only in reverse. That means these birds, who are usually very tired from traveling long distances over water without rest, are flying head-on into some of the strongest winds on the planet.

This is worrying because we know that as Earth’s climate changes, we expect to see more frequent and powerful hurricanes in the future — meaning that the chances of sooty terns being hit by storms will likely go up.

Hurricane season typically lasts from June to November, with peak activity occurring in August and September.

Although sooty terns are neither rare nor endangered — 80,000 or more of them are estimated to breed in the Dry Tortugas each year — they have long been used by scientists as an indicator species to determine the health of the region’s marine environment.