Delaware Public Media

DSU professor discovers correlation between a songbird's breeding & hurricane season severity

Jul 27, 2018

Delaware State University’s Dr. Christopher Heckscher has uncovered a correlation between one species of songbird’s breeding season and hurricane season severity predictions.



Dr. Heckscher's findings were published in the magazine Nature/Scientific Reports.

Dr Heckscher’s findings indicate the length of the annual Veery breeding season, when they migrate to South America, as well as the number of eggs they produce, are predictors of hurricane season severity the following summer and fall.

Heckscher notes shorter Veery breeding seasons and earlier departures from North America for the flight back to Brazil for the winter, correlate strongly with a more severe hurricane season.


Years with a longer breeding season coincided with less severe hurricane seasons.

The DSU associate professor has been researching the Veery species since 1998 at White Clay Creek Park.