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.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Birds travel in the eye of the storm

Most birds have a special middle-ear receptor called the Vitali organ, which can sense incredibly small changes in barometric pressure. So if the activity at feeders suddenly becomes much more intense, a storm may be approaching. During storms birds may think of your feeder as a known source of food and load up as much as possible.

The small birds like chickadees fly as little as possible and try to wait out storms in patches of dense vegetation or roosting houses that give protection.

This year, as Hurricane Matthew makes its way across the eastern shoreline of the United States, meteorologists have been sharing radar of a group of birds in the middle of the storm. Birds often show up in the eye of hurricanes; It happened just last month with Hurricane Hermine. Audubon field editor and birding expert Kenn Kaufman, wrote about the phenomenon a few years ago.

“They’re out there in all this wild wind and when they chance into the calm of the eye they may make an effort to stay there and travel with it rather than fighting the winds again,” Kaufman wrote. “When the storm reaches land, some of them may start fighting the winds. Others may go with it and travel with the eye until the hurricane dissipates.”
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