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8628Bird Fallout

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  • iamclar@dal.ca
    Apr 25, 2012

      We are clearly witnessing an event very like thwe one in early April
      2009, when there was a large fallout of Indigo Buntings, Blue
      Grosbeaks, tanagers, and other southern "overshoots." My son James and
      I analysed that event in N. American Birds 1989, v. 63, pp 364-368.

      A search of the NOAA amalysis charts shows than a deep, slow-moving
      low, this time somewhat closer to the East Coast, has produced strong
      westerlies (25-40 knotas) in the Caribbean and Gulf of MX through
      Florida, southwesterly flow up and off the E. Coast, and converging on
      NS and n. New England (and perhaps s. Newfoundland). You can see this
      at the 850 mb height at 00 Z 23 April (the evening of 22 Apr. on E.
      Coast) if you can search their weather site for that date and time or
      if you load the long address below (probably won't be easily clickable).


      It may be even harder on the birds than was the early April 09 event,
      as this one might have carried the birds further out to sea. My son
      Jamie did some prelimnary modelling of the 2009 event using
      Indigo-Bunting-sized "model" birds and found that the majority would
      have perished at sea if they followed the winds with the usual avian
      accuracy, fat loads, etc. Already, there are reports of weak and dead
      individuals. Of course, as regrettable as this may be, it is minor
      compared to annual kills by cats, windows, and all the other direct
      and indirect impacts of our domination of the planet.

      Ian McLaren