Thanks, Bryant

I was more interested in learning about the effect of smoke on birds 
that are trying to fly through it, rather than the phenomenon of 
migration--though that's always an interesting and somewhat 
unfathomable subject.

It would seem to me that birds would chose not to fly through this 
stuff.  Maybe they can fly way above it?  I assume it would have some 
negative effect on their lungs and stamina.

Dotty Robbins  

-- "Bryant Roberts" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
We never got the heavy smoke and haze down here that you got in North
Central Florida, the worst visibility I witnessed was about one 
mile.  The
smoke probably wasn't a problem in south America and the Caribbean and
didn't effect the numbers of migrants departing from there.  The main
controlling factors for spring migrant numbers on the southeast coast 
wind direction and heavy rain.  The rain will force down migrants that
would normally overfly the area and westerly winds will cause 
migrants that
find themselves out over the ocean to attempt to fly towards the 
coast and
land.  On the west coast easterly winds have a similar effect.

The only unusual thing I noticed while birding near the coast during 
smoky westerlies was that while there was the usual peak in arrivals 
in the morning birds appeared to be coming in off the ocean through 
late afternoon.  This makes me wonder if the limited visibility 
caused some
disorientation while the migrants were over the ocean, perhaps causing
losses there.  It would be interesting to know if there were reports 
this period of unusual numbers of birds landing on ships in the 
off the southeastern US.

I really haven't studied migratory behavior as much as I should have 
but I
believe important factors influencing the departure of migrants 
include the
physical condition of the bird, wind direction, and the birds ability 
see stars after sunset.  Smoky conditions in Florida could have made 
difficult for birds to see the stars and delayed departure.

Bryant Roberts
Davie, Fl

> [Original Message]
> From: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: 5/15/2007 9:47:12 PM
> Subject: Re: [FLBIRDS] Smoke & Its Effect On Migrants
> I can accept that this report is flawed--it's not from a reliable 
> birding source, but I thought it was of interest.  I have been 
> wondering, especially when the smoke gets heavy here, how the birds 
> react.  Don't have any sources that I know of that say they hunker 
> down, or fly from it, or become dioriented or impaired.  So I was 
> interested to hear this report.  I can live with a misidentified 
> species--but wonder if the general phenomenon is true.
> Dotty

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