“The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place.” (Job 27:21 KJV)
“But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:27 KJV)
While working on the last Attributes and Avian article, – Bounty/Bountiful, I was using the “B – First Name of Birds” list to find a bird to use. The Barbuda Warbler (Setophaga subita) caught my attention. Also, one of our readers wrote a comment, wondering what happened to the birds during a hurricane.
The tiny island of Barbuda took a direct hit by Hurricane Irma and basically destroyed at least 95% of all structures. They have now evacuated all residents off of the island. [inhabited for the last 300 years] (BoingBoing article Not One Single Human Left on the Island) “With 95% of the island’s structures completely destroyed, all 1,800 residents have evacuated to nearby Antigua, and now live in shelters or with relatives. The only living creatures left on Barbuda are pets and livestock, which the non-profit group World Animal Protection are trying to feed and rescue.” So, what about the birds?
The Barbuda Warbler is endemic to Barbuda. “In addition to the catastrophic impact on Barbuda’s human residents, concern turned to the storm’s effects on the island’s wildlife. The island’s only endemic bird, the near-threatened Barbuda warbler, numbered less than 2,000 individuals prior to the hurricane. It is unknown if the warbler survived the hurricane or its aftermath. Barbuda’s Codrington Lagoon, home to the largest colony of magnificent frigatebirds in the Caribbean, with an estimated 2,500 nesting pairs, was also inundated by the storm surge.” From Hurricane Irma article on Wikipedia. Also, from Wikipedia, “The Barbuda warbler (Setophaga subita) is a species of bird in the Parulidae family. It is endemic to the island of Barbuda in Antigua and Barbuda. Its natural habitat is tropical dry shrubland near wetland areas. It is threatened by habitat loss. It once was considered a subspecies of the Adelaide’s Warbler.”
Searching the internet, I couldn’t find out too much about the Barbuda Warbler, but here are a few articles about other bird species that you will find interesting.
Hurricane Irma Disaster Response team assess damage to wildlife populations on Barbuda – The Bananaquit was found
Hurricane Irma hits Caribbean birds hard, forces closure of Everglades and other parks – BirdWatching – Mentions the Barbuda Warbler
“Irma left the island of Barbuda in ruins; about 95 percent of structures were destroyed or damaged, and nearly all residents were evacuated last week as Hurricane Jose threatened to hit. The fate of Barbuda Warbler, an endemic species that likely numbered less than 2,000 birds before Irma, is unknown.
Jeremy Ross, a scientist with the University of Oklahoma, wonders if Irma was an extinction-level event for the warbler.
Barbuda’s Codrington Lagoon, a RAMSAR-designated wetland and national park, was home to the largest colony of Magnificent Frigatebirds in the region (around 2,500 pairs). According to BirdsCaribbean, the lagoon “was breached during the storm and the sea has flowed in.”
“Thousands of birds must have perished,” said Andrew Dobson, president of BirdsCaribbean, in an article posted on Bernews.com.
One article I wish I hadn’t found, tells about the destruction of so many Flamingo. Translated as “Hundreds of flamingos killed in Cayo Coco by Hurricane Irma”
Our prayers go out to those who have had to be evacuated from Barbuda, but, also, to all those who have been visited by the Hurricanes this year.
” And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:4-7 KJV)