Tropicbirds and Cyclones

Posted on 03 July by Carl Vernon in Birds

Tropicbirds and Cyclones

This review was precipitated when Tim Cockbain recounted his experience of touching a tropicbird at Port Alfred - see pix - and I recalled doing the same on the Seychelles.       That caused me to search in the ornithological literiture for Tim's record.  While doing so compiled a list of tropicbird records, but his was not amongst them.    What I did encounter was the belief that South African records of  tropicbirds were individuals driven on our shores by cyclones in the Indian Ocean.    This was evaluated against a 50 year archive of all cyclones and storms in the Indian Ocean.   There was only a weak relationship between the cyclones and tropicbirds.   There are other possible reasons for the occurrence of tropicbirds here including : South African coasts are on the edge of the birds foraging range and the  dispersion of birds from their natal site.

A draft of this review is available from the author : carl@bonzabay.co.za




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