Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation,2021

doi: 10.1002/rse2.225


Copyright © 2021 The Authors. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Zoological Society of London This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License


Tropical cyclones (TCs) can transport birds and insects near their center of circulation. In this study, we examined the maximum altitude, area and density of the radar-derived bioscatter signature across a set of 42 TC centers of circulation sampled from 2011 to 2020. All TC events contained at least one time when a bioscatter signature was present. More intense hurricanes with closed eyes typically had taller and denser bioscatter signatures, and sometimes larger areas dominated by bioscatter. This indicated a larger number of organisms within the circulation of more intense hurricanes, supporting the speculation that those storms were most likely to trap birds that do not want to risk flying through their eyewall thunderstorms. Larger and denser bioscatter signatures, indicating a larger number of birds, tend to occur when fall migration brings a large bird population to the Gulf and East Coasts where most storms were sampled. TC formation location was not related to bioscatter characteristics, but storms sampled in the Gulf of Mexico and Florida tended to have larger and denser bioscatter signatures.