Hurricane Irene Brings Tropical Birds
Hurricane Irene may have left a trail of devastation on the eastern seaboard of the United States but one silver lining to the cloud is for birdwatchers – the number of tropical birds that have been displaced northwards as a result of the hurricane. Birdwatchers Hal Weirenga and his wife Lynn Davidson sat in their station wagon during the huricane, peering through binoculars, looking for tropical birds.
"Every time a hurricane comes through the area, they have a wonderful history of picking up birds down in the Caribbean and dropping them out as they pass through a region ... like a vacuum cleaner," says Weirenga.
Weirenga said other bird watchers had spotted some tropical species further down the Bay in North Beach in Calvert County.
"One of them is a long-tailed jaeger that belongs out in the ocean. It's kind of a predatory sea bird," says Weirenga. "Several of them have been sooty terns, which nest down in the Caribbean and only occur this far north when they're storm driven."