May 6, 2010
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has received numerous reports of a migratory bird "fall-out" event in the vicinity of Gulf Breeze, Florida.
The term "Fallout" refers to birds that are alive and dropping down in big numbers along the migratory path, usually from natural exhaustion during their migration north. It does not mean the birds are falling dead out of the sky. In this case, bird watchers have seen this event in beach areas along the Alabama/Florida Gulf Coast.
According to Service migratory bird biologists, this is a common event that occurs annually.
"We're near the peak of the trans-Gulf migration," said David Viker, the Service's assistant regional director for migratory birds in the Southeast Region. "Tens of millions of tiny feathered birds that could fit in your hand are making the jump from South America to North America and are exhausted upon arrival."
Recent severe weather along the Gulf coast may have also contributed to the birds' exhaustion.
This natural occurring event is not a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
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Deepwater Horizon Incident
Joint Information Center
Phone: (985) 902-5231