Feb 8, 2016 | Featured in: Watching Backyard Birds, February 2016

Bird Meteorologists

Does a busy bird feeder mean that a bad weather is coming?
Share:

In the fall, when my Dad spotted the first junco (snowbird) on our farm, he told us all that it would be six weeks until the first trackable snow. He marked the date on the calendar. If the snow fell near the predicted date, Dad would marvel aloud at what an amazing prophet a snowbird was. If the date wasn’t close, the failed feathered seer was not mentioned.

Sometimes the juncos were right. Sometimes the weatherman on TV is right. Here are some sayings about avian meteorologists:

  • Birds fly lower before a storm.
  • A busy bird feeder means bad weather is coming.
  • Birds singing in the rain means the rain will soon stop.
  • Birds eat more just before a storm.
  • When birds stop singing and the trees start swinging, a storm is on its way.
  • When birds eat a lot and then disappear, a terrible storm is very near.
  • If a crow hollers in the morning, expect rain by night.
  • If crows fly in pairs, expect fine weather. A crow flying alone is a sign of foul weather.
  • When the grouse drum at night, there will be a deep fall of snow.
  • Hawks flying high means a clear sky; when they fly low, prepare for a blow.
  • Cranes aloft, the day is soft; swallows soar, good weather more.
  • A robin singing at dawn while facing west means a change in weather by noon.
  • If the robin sings loudly from the topmost of trees, expect a storm.
  • When woodpeckers peck low on the trees, expect warm weather.
  • The loon calls loudest before the storm.

About Al Batt

Al Batt is a writer, speaker, storyteller, and humorist. His first book is a collection of his stories, A Life Gone to the Birds, published by BWD Press. Order this book from our nature shop »

What do you think? Tell us!

comments powered by Disqus

New On This Site

The Latest Comments

  • Thank you for sharing some things to take into consideration when it comes to backyard renovation, this is very timely as I'm planning to turn a portion of my backyard into some sort of patio while maintaining a nice open lawn area as well. I saw some outdoor furniture and outdoor decor on this website and after reading this article, I checked them out again and I found more stuff that I would love to buy for my new patio.
    by Eleonor Baker, Thu, 15 Apr 2021
  • Something is wrong with the Goldfinches in April 2021. I had to stop putting seed in our feeder because the birds seem to have a hard time flying. That attracts our cats, and I do not want to feed the cats. I have actually picked up two birds that seemed to be struggling to fly and tossed one into the air and another on a large pile of leaves. They took off, but they are very lethargic.
    by Beasleyhillman, Sat, 03 Apr 2021
  • How does one attract Calif Scrub Jays?? Due to neighbors outdoor cats most of birds are gone except a fee hummingbirds.
    by Dee Opde, Sun, 21 Mar 2021
  • You are talking about "black oil sunflower seeds" but showing regular striped sunflower seeds. There is a BIG difference! There is MUCH less waste with the black oil seeds. Plus they are easier for small birds to eat. They are both shown here: https://www.horsefeedblog.c...
    by Carolyn King, Sat, 20 Mar 2021
  • How long do other seeds stay fresk? Sunflower seeds? Millet? Safflower?
    by Sue, Sat, 06 Feb 2021