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Hurricanes and Their Impacts on Wild Things

Hurricanes can be disastrous and Florida sticks out like a sore thumb directly in the path of many hurricanes. It’s the heat of the sun and curvature and spinning of the Earth on its axis that initiate the movement of air over ocean and land. And its summer heat that warms surface water that creates the humid air and water-laden clouds that come with a hurricane. The juxtaposition of Florida’s land mass and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico – the northern end of which is in a subtropical climate – makes us a target for hurricanes – many of which move north through the Gulf of Mexico, feeding on the warm waters there.

The strong winds of hurricanes often bring along flocks of birds – many migrants, many colonial water birds. Following a hurricane, standing water on the flat lands of Florida become breeding pools for mosquitos and damaged trees become sites of infections with fungi and attractants to harmful insects. Our penchant for saving an Eagle or Osprey nest tree is commendable…. But we often save only that tree --- which, if downed by a hurricane may mean the end of the efforts of that breeding pair. A natural stand of old trees is needed to provide for replacement nests as needed.