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Weather Proverbs and Prognostics: Birds

I was sitting on my deck watching the birds feed and snapped this photo.

Credit: Linda L'Esperance
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Did you know that bird behavior can help us predict the weather?  Closely observe nature and your feathered friends—and you might be surprised what you learn!

Look up one of these days.  Birds flying high in the sky usually indicate fair weather. As the adage goes . . .

  • Hawks flying high means a clear sky. When they fly low, prepare for a blow.

Birds tend to stop flying and take refuge at the coast if a storm is coming. They'll also fly low to avoid the discomfort of the falling air pressure.

  • When seagulls fly inland, expect a storm.

  • When fowls roost in daytime, expect rain.

  • Petrels gathering under the stern of a ship indicates bad weather.

Birds tend to get very quiet before a big storm. If you've ever been walking in the woods before a storm, the natural world is eerily silent! Birds also sing if the weather is improving.

  • Birds singing in the rain indicates fair weather approaching.

Here are more bird proverbs and prognostics. Enjoy!

  • If crows fly in pairs, expect fine weather; a crow flying alone is a sign of foul weather.
     

  • The whiteness of a goose's breastbone indicates the kind of winter: A red of dark-spotted bone means a cold and stormy winter; few or light-colored spots mean a mild winter.
     

  • Partridges drumming in the fall means a mild and open winter.
     

  • When domestic geese walk east and fly west, expect cold weather.
     

  • If birds in the autumn grow tame, the winter will be too cold for game.
     

  • When the rooster goes crowing to bed, he will rise with watery head.
     

  • When the swallow's nest is high, the summer is very dry. When the swallow buildeth low, you can safely reap and sow.

We humans can learn so much from birds—and all animal behavior.

Do any of these sayings ring true? Please share your own observations!

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An evening gray and a morning

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An evening gray and a morning red
Will send the shepherd wet to bed.
Evening red and morning gray,
Two sure signs of one fine day.

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"If the November goose bone be thick,
So will the weather be;
If November goose bone be thin,
So will the winter weather be.

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