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A Northern Gannet Meets Superstorm Sandy

Amazing coincidence - a bird with a transmitter!
© Dan Irizarry View Large

Here's a remarkable story about a bird that survived Superstorm Sandy. A Northern Gannet was flying over the Atlantic Ocean near New Jersey’s south shore, just as Sandy reached the coast there. Coincidentally, the gannet wore a tiny GPS transmitter on a tail-feather, so scientists were able to track its movements. As the gannet neared the northern edge of the storm, it made an abrupt about-face and winged briskly north and then east, beyond the reach of the winds. Here the bird waited out the massive storm. And afterward, the gannet flew back to where its detour had begun!
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Transcript: 

BirdNote®

A Northern Gannet Meets Superstorm Sandy

Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.
[Hurricane sounds]
Superstorm Sandy wreaked havoc on coastal New Jersey and New York. The stories of how people endured Sandy’s wrath are a testament to the human spirit.
[Hurricane sounds]
Here’s another remarkable story to emerge from the storm.
A Northern Gannet, a sleek pelican-sized seabird, was flying over the Atlantic Ocean near New Jersey’s south shore just as Sandy reached the coast there. It happened that the gannet wore a tiny GPS transmitter on a tail feather, so scientists were able to track its movements.
As the gannet neared the northern edge of the storm, it made an abrupt about-face and winged briskly north toward Long Island. Then it flew east along the continental shelf to a region beyond the reach of Sandy’s howling winds. Here the bird waited out the passage of the massive storm. Then, picking up where it had been interrupted earlier, the gannet flew all the way back to the same patch of ocean off south Jersey where its detour had begun.
[Coastal waves]
Birds that live on the ocean are adapted to coping with powerful storms. Still, some inevitably perish in such forbidding conditions. The scientific tracking of a gannet’s journey yields new insight and tells a remarkable story of a seabird facing and surviving Superstorm Sandy’s fury.
[Northern Gannet calls]
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###
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Calls of Northern Gannets [133317] recorded by M. Fisher.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org           January 2013      Narrator: Mary McCann

ID# NOGA-01-2013-01-06    NOGA-01   

comment 1 Show

A wonderful story. The upbeat musical piece enriched the feature.

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