It is not known whether en route fall migratory birds (August-October) are likely to suffer more from direct or secondary effects of hurricanes. On September 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita wreaked havoc on Louisiana's coast by toppling trees over vast areas and by stripping away microhabitats that harbor the invertebrates and produce the fruits upon which migrant landbirds depend (e.g., canopy foliage, vine tangles, epiphytes, leaf litter, and thickets of perennial plant species). Such transient effects of a hurricane on wildlife food resources are poorly understood, but these effects may have longterm consequences for some wildlife species.
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USGS Numbered Series
Cheniere forest as stopover habitat for migrant landbirds: Immediate effects of Hurricane Rita: Chapter 6D in Science and the storms-the USGS response to the hurricanes of 2005