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Flying Into A Hurricane — A Bird’s Perspective

Photo by Nathan Deremer

 

Why would a bird deliberately fly into a hurricane? It seems that some migratory birds fly in so they can get a huge push coming out the other side. Researchers at the Center for Conservation Biology in Williamsburg, Virginia have been tracking migrating whimbrels. Before a storm last year, scientists attached a satellite transmitter to a bird dubbed “Hope”.  A statement from the American Bird Conservancy described what they saw:

“She took 27 hours averaging just 9 mph to fly non-stop through the storm to get to the center; then she flew at an average of almost 100 mph for 1.5 hours out the back end, using the power of the storm to ‘slingshot’ her towards land.”

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