While larger birds might be more resistant to heavy rain or snow, smaller ones are at a higher risk of flying into branches or getting hit by one. So how do they survive the rain and the snowfalls? Do they hide or stay in the open?
Birds seek shelter when it rains or snows. Inland birds hide in dense vegetation, while seabirds remain in the air, trying to outrun the storm. These creatures usually sense an upcoming storm, so they prepare to survive it by feeding and seeking shelter beforehand.
Where Do Birds Go When It Rains?
Birds are intelligent creatures. They are adapted to survive harsh conditions, so they know where they should go when the weather worsens. As such, when it rains, they usually seek shelter in dense trees and shrubs. Hummingbirds, for example, are often spotted hiding in the dense vegetation found on the downwind side of tree trunks.
If it’s a storm, birds require more energy to fly, so it’s essential for them to find shelter as soon as possible, as well as food to refill their energy supplies. In fact, it is known that birds can sense a storm coming, so they’re likely to find shelter way before the actual storm begins.
If you have birds around your yard, you might even notice them flying frantically through the area looking for food and a place to hide. Since they require more energy to fly in the rain, birds usually try fueling up beforehand to be able to survive the storm without venturing into the wind to look for food.
However, some may not be lucky enough to get to a sheltered area and may be accidentally hit by leaves, twigs, and even other objects if the wind is strong enough to carry them around. Small birds are at a higher risk of being injured.
Well, things seem clear regarding inland birds, right?! What about seabirds? How do they survive these harsh weather conditions? First, we must mention that seabirds are strong fliers and are used to the shore winds – some even enjoy them! However, even these expert fliers require energy to stay in the air during a storm, so if it lasts for days, how do they survive?!
The answer is cruel – they might not survive it. While some species can return to shore to seek shelter, others do not have this possibility, so they remain in the midst of the storm, which is why people living close to beaches find dead birds on the shore after a storm passes.
If they’re lucky and have enough energy, seabirds can pass the storm by flying hundreds of miles toward a place with more favorable weather conditions.
Where Do Birds Go When It Snows?
Many birds are migratory, so they’ll leave the area way before the temperatures drop and it starts snowing. Others, however, prefer staying on their territory even during winter. So where do they go when it’s snowing? They’ll probably seek similar shelters – dense shrubs, trees, man-made shelters.
Non-migratory birds usually prepare beforehand for freezing temperatures by storing body fat and growing additional layers of feathers. As such, they’re quite adapted to surviving in the snowy weather. Some are even known to lower their body temperature or induce torpor – a state characterized by decreased physiological activity.
Do Birds Migrate in the Rain?
Birds can fly in the rain, but they usually prefer to wait for it to pass since flying in the rain requires more energy, which is the key to completing a migratory route.
As such, if they sense a storm coming or it starts raining on their way toward their breeding/wintering grounds, most birds will likely seek shelter and resume their migratory journey once the sun chases the storm away.
Why Do Birds Fly Around Before A Storm?
If you’ve ever spotted birds flying around weirdly before a storm, you’re probably wondering why they do so, right?! So were we!
Luckily, we discovered the reason! The secret stands in barometric pressure. When a storm is coming, the barometric pressure drops. This makes it easier for birds to fly.
When they sense the barometric pressure dropping, birds know a storm is coming and they’ll have to find shelter soon. This means they also need enough food to stay hidden for a few hours. As such, taking advantage of the dropping barometric pressure, they fly like crazy in search of food.
This pressure change might also confuse or disorient these innocent creatures, thus forcing them to fly closer to the ground and move in circles.