Ian brought rain and winds but also birds unique to this area

Overnight storm events like what we saw with Ian can allow some unusual birds to enter our area
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 5:09 PM EDT
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NEW RIVER VALLEY, Va. (WDBJ) - Hurricane Ian brought wind and rain into our area, but it also brought a few rare and unusual birds for this area. Overnight storm events like what we saw with Ian can allow some unusual birds to enter our area because birds migrate at night.

“They’ve never been seen before in Montgomery County. They’ve been seen two or three times at most, so they are pretty rare. We got photos of the red-necked phalarope, which I believe is the third record for Montgomery County, which is a type of shorebird. That’s pretty rare around here,” said Max Nootbaar, a Virginia Tech student studying Wildlife Conservation.

Unfortunately, this impacts the birds because the habitat here is not suitable for them, they get lost and can’t find their way back, or they become exhausted.

Birds unique to this area that were seen over the weekend:

  • Common tern
  • Red-necked phalarope (only reported seen 3 times in Montgomery County)
  • Sandpipers
  • American golden plover

This isn’t the first time a powerful storm has brought different bird species to us. A few years ago at the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport, 300 shorebirds moved inland all thanks to Hurricane Sally.