The eye of the storm is the region of mostly calm weather at the center of strong tropical cyclones. For animals that need a safe place from the strong winds, the eye of Hurricane Matthew appears to be the best place to go and stay until weather conditions become calm enough for them.
Meteorologists said that radars show birds flying inside the storm's eye in an apparent effort to evade and take refuge from the winds of the storm. In a tweet, meteorologist Jeff Last said that biological returns, which are likely birds have been spotted at the center of the swirling hurricane.
— Jeff Last (@JeffLast) October 7, 2016
The birds were spotted using NOAA's Dual Polarization radar, which can analyze the type and intensity of precipitation as well as detect non-meteorological radar echoes such as insects and birds.
"The upgraded radars offer 14 new radar products to better determine the type and intensity of precipitation and how much may fall. It can also help tell the difference between smoke, birds, bats and bugs, and confirm that tornadoes are on the ground causing damage," NOAA described the technology.
The suspected birds are believed to be seagulls and other birds that fly inside the eye of the storm in an effort to get away from the storm's strongest parts. Meteorologist John Farley of WOLO television station in Columbia said that this phenomenon is actually a common occurrence.
He explained that the birds get trapped as the eye gets going and it is relatively calm inside.
Brandon Heitkamp of Audubon South Carolina explained that birds configure their flight to have a tail wind when they migrate but when the tail wind spins into a hurricane, the birds could get sucked into the eye and they may have to fly thousands of miles before the storm becomes calm enough for them to go out.
"The birds get into the end of the hurricane's spiral and they move toward the eye of the hurricane," Audubon field editor Kenn Kaufman explained.
"More likely they're out there in all this wild wind and when they chance into the calm of the eye they may make an effort to stay there and travel with it rather than fighting the winds again."
This is not the first time that the phenomenon was seen this hurricane season. Birds were also detected on radar inside the eye of Hurricane Hermine on Sept. 1.
Hurricane Matthew already killed six and left one million people without power.