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Can birds sense impending storms?

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Old Thursday 7th February 2013, 15:38   #1
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Can birds sense impending storms?

Can birds sense impending storms? There is huge snow storm coming up in the Northeast (predicted to be of historic magnitude), and incidentally I saw a lot of bird activities this morning in the nearby woods. I heard woodpeckers pecking, which I think is rare in the winter. I seem to remember hearing them only when the weather is warm. But this morning, quite a few woodpeckers (downies) out there with prolonged pecking.. Also more chickadees, junkos, etc. flying around actively than usual.. Maybe it's my perception, not reality.

Any thoughts?
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Old Thursday 7th February 2013, 16:03   #2
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Yes. Birds can sense the impending storms/heavy snowfalls etc. A few weeks back when cold weather and heavy snowfall was due to hit the east coast of Britain, some of the Pink-footed Geese in this area moved across the country to less affected areas.

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Old Thursday 7th February 2013, 17:52   #3
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Originally Posted by New Daddy View Post
Can birds sense impending storms? Any thoughts?
Yes!
Members of the swift family often fly many hundreds of kilometres to outflank storm fronts or to await their dissipation, the young in the nest entering a state of torpor.

I've also seen in Florida (along the Tamiami Trail) hundreds of large birds moving about 15 minutes ahead of a storm front.
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Old Thursday 7th February 2013, 18:01   #4
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Presumably they can sense relevant changes in air pressure ... ?
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Old Thursday 7th February 2013, 18:04   #5
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Yeah, it appears that whenever there is a drop or rise in the barometric pressure the birds always go into a feeding frenzy at the feeders.
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Old Thursday 7th February 2013, 18:08   #6
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Although not to do with storms,but in 1999 when we had a total eclipse in the UK even before it started to darken all the birds stopped singing it was quiet eerie walking around with just the sound of the passing cars.
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