About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Photo Share: Birds warn of impending storm

We were wondering: Is there any significance to seeing many birds perched up on the telephone/electric lines?? We thought it might be a sign of an impending storm or a change in the barometer . . . can you solve this mystery? Thank you. Mimi
Photo from Wikimedia Commons
I think the main reason birds sit on high wires is because it’s a nice resting area. Power lines like trees, provide safe, high perches that allow smaller birds to survey the surrounding area for predators. Fall is when nesting is over and huge flocks begin to form.

However most birds do have a special middle-ear receptor called the Vitali organ, which can sense incredibly small changes in barometric pressure. A frenzy of activity at feeders and birds flying low or perching on low power lines could also be signs of the swiftly falling air pressure from an incoming storm.