National Geographic Society Newsroom

After Sandy: Unusual Bird Sightings

  I was surprised to recently spot gnatcatchers in my neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia.  These birds are not a typical sight in urban areas, but this is just one example of the unusual guests East Coast residents have been seeing at their feeders during the last two weeks, thanks to Sandy.  The hurricane disrupted migration...

Photo by Allison Clements.

 

I was surprised to recently spot gnatcatchers in my neighborhood in Arlington, Virginia.  These birds are not a typical sight in urban areas, but this is just one example of the unusual guests East Coast residents have been seeing at their feeders during the last two weeks, thanks to Sandy.  The hurricane disrupted migration routes for some birds, and others simply got blown off course by the violent winds.  The winter storm, coming from the north, and Hurricane Sandy, coming from the south, brought together a very peculiar group of birds.

Ebird.org offered a nice description of the avian mishmash: “Pelagic birds were inland, overland migrant waterfowl were grounded, Arctic birds were south, western birds made it east, and some European birds even crossed the ocean.”

With all this going on, the website reports, it’s shaping up to be a “historic month” for bird movements, with possibly more species east of the Mississippi than at any other time.

For all the latest science news, check out National Geographic Library’s twice-weekly news rundown, EarthCurrent.

 

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Meet the Author

Suzan Eaton
Systems specialist at NG Library.