Posted on September 19, 2017 by Neil Ungerleider

Magnificent Frigatebird

Magnificent Frigatebird (Photo:  Bernard Gagnon CC BY-SA 3.0) 

Significant weather events, such as hurricanes and tropical storms, may drive some birds far off-course and make for unique birding experiences.

Many ocean birds such as Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigatebirds have been spotted more than one thousand miles from the coast after big storms.

After Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, a birder recounted his experience at the Quabbin Reservoir in Massachusetts at

He spotted an adult White-tailed Tropicbird, at least 800 miles from home, and a Sooty Tern, normally not found north of the Carolinas. 

Other birders reported White-tailed Tropicbirds as far north as New Hampshire and a Black Swift, whose home is the Caribbean, in New Jersey.

After a storm of this magnitude, many birds will find their way back home.  Others unable to find their food in freshwater may die.

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