|Hurricane Irma striking Barbuda, Sep 5, 2017|
|Hurricane Irma projected path as of 8AM, Sep 6, 2017|
What effect will the storm have on bird life? Migrants will likely fly around the storm (if they have the ability) but many will certainly perish in the storm. The birds on the islands will also take a major hit with winds from a Category 5 storm but hopefully they will find some places to hide out and ride out the storm. There are a number of endemic species that could suffer some heavy loss due to their restricted range on some of the islands being directly impacted (the Barbuda Warbler comes to mind as one example). Pelagic birds will certainly be entrained within the storm and once landfall occurs the birds that survive will be dumped inland...where that happen will depend on the track of the storm...more on that later.
There is also a newly named storm (TS Jose) behind Irma that also could develop into another hurricane and track up through the northern Lesser Antilles but more about that at a later time.