Birds can feel storms coming

Birds can feel storms coming

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Conclusion departed from study with birds with geolocation devices. Birds left the region two days before a major storm.

Some birds have a sixth sense for anticipating storms and fleeing, according to a study published December 18, 2014.

While studying small migratory birds with geolocation devices, the scientists observed that they left an area to breed shortly after their arrival and two days before a heavy storm in April that caused at least 84 tornadoes in Tennessee where 35 people died. .

A yellow houseweed with a geolocator on its back and an identification ribbon on its legs is seen in the Tennesse Cumberland Mountains: study concludes which species feels the storm is coming.

The yellow-winged sissies (Vermivora chrysoptera) traveled 1,500 km in five days to escape this storm, said the authors of the study published in the journal Current Biology in the United States.

"The odd thing is that these birds left the place long before the rain came," estimated Henry Streby, an ecologist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Yellow House Mariquita Defends Its Territory

"When the weather channel specialists told us that the storm was coming at us, the birds were getting ready to leave the area," he explained.

According to the researchers, birds, unlike humans, are able to hear very low frequency infrasons that propagate over long distances and are mainly generated by severe weather disturbances.

"Meteorologists and physicists already knew that the storms that generate tornadoes produce strong emissions of infrasons that travel thousands of miles and at frequencies at which these birds are most sensitive," the ecologist explained.

Researchers have also shown that this species, which follows the same migratory routes each year, can also travel outside its migration periods when necessary.

This sixth sense of birds is good news for their survival in the midst of climate warming, which will lead to increased intensity and frequency of storms and tornadoes, they said.

"This means that in the face of climate warming, birds will have to adapt better than some predicted," said Streby.