Bird Evacuation – Florida Hurricane Style

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Bobwhite quail, female on left, male on right. Photo: Kelly Dean

Bird Evacuation – Florida Hurricane Style

By Kelly Dean

These bobwhite quail are odd to see this far south in Florida. It’s the first time I’ve seen them anyway. And they’re in my yard.

After severe hurricanes, the thing that most surprises me is how the birds respond. These creatures either relocate for their own health, or they are caught up in the hurricane’s winds and deposited somewhere, whether they like it or not.

Such was the case following Hurricane Irma, sweeping across the Lesser Antilles, near Puerto Rico, over Hispaniola, and skimming north of Cuba before turning due north, straight up southwest Florida.

Just after the storm, I saw a half-dozen swallow-tailed kites hunting near my house, which is not uncommon, it’s just uncommon now. I saw two bald eagles doing the same.

I don’t know whether they left voluntarily or were just displaced. Nonetheless, I welcome the new arrivals. They always make life more interesting.

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Female bobwhite quail. Photo: Kelly Dean

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