Pelagic Birds and Weather Along the Alabama Coast- A Correlation?

Published in 1979

Sightings of pelagic birds along the Alabama coast have increased dramatically in recent years, due primarily to increased forays of birders into the Gulf in search of these wandering seabirds, and to heightened diligence by coastal observers. Some pelagic trips have been outstandingly successful, others quite disappointing. What role, if any, does weather play in bringing pelagic birds to the extreme northern Gulf and adjacent coastal waters? In an effort to answer this question, the author has recorded daily weather conditions at Gulf Breeze, Florida since 1954. Wind direction and velocity are often suspected to be the major weather factors influencing seabird movements in the Gulf. Wind direction and velocity are determined by pressure gradients of high and low pressure cells affecting areas of hundreds or thousands of square miles. Thus, other than localized conditions which exist temporarily and affect relatively small areas in summer, wind direction and velocity at Gulf Breeze should be representative of conditions along the Alabama coast. This has been borne out through weather observations during hawk watches in the fall.

Author: R. A. Duncan
Volume Number: 27 Year Published: 1979
Issue Number: 1-2
Page Number: 11

Link to article: 27 No. 1, 2_1979_p11.pdf
Link to the full issue of BirdLife: 27 No. 1, 2_1979.pdf