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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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Whether you're wondering when to expect rain, or if a cold winter or dry summer is ahead of you, birds have a way of helping us find out! Here is a collection of some of our favorite bird weather proverbs and prognostics.

  • Birds singing in the rain indicates fair weather approaching.
  • If birds in the autumn grow tame, the winter will be too cold for game.
  • Partridges drumming in the fall means a mild and open winter.
  • Chickens cackle and owls howl just before rain.
  • If crows fly in pairs, expect fine weather; a crow flying alone is a sign of foul weather.
  • When fowls roost in daytime, expect rain.
  • 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.
  • When domestic geese walk east and fly west, expect cold weather.
  • Hawks flying high means a clear sky. When they fly low, prepare for a blow.
  • Petrels gathering under the stern of a ship indicates bad weather.
  • When the rooster goes crowing to bed, he will rise with watery head.
  • When seagulls fly inland, expect a storm.
  • When the swallow's nest is high, the summer is very dry. When the swallow buildeth low, you can safely reap and sow.

Did we miss any? Share your favorite lore!

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An evening gray and a morning

By Clarence Bale

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.

"Weather folklore and Weather signs" 1903

I have a book in my library

By Clarence Bale

I have a book in my library published by the U.S. department of agriculture in 1903 entitled "Weather Folklore and Local Weather signs" a fun old book and sayings that I'm sure have been forgotten
"If the November goose bone be thick,
So will the weather be;
If November goose bone be thin,
So will the winter weather be.

stuff like that

I heard that the BLACK &

By Spurwing Plover

I heard that the BLACK & YELLOW BILLED CUCKOOS are called RAINCROWS in some areas while LOONS are called RAIN GEESE

When you here a screech owl

By ZKirchman

When you here a screech owl in late summer it will be 6 weeks to cold weather!

cows lying down in a field


cows lying down in a field during the day...watch for rain

Red skys at night a sailors

By april24c

Red skys at night a sailors delight. Red skys in morning sailors take warning.

When the dove coos in the

By Tk Hash

When the dove coos in the evening right before dusk, it means rain for the next day. It is very true, it always rains here in Kentucky whenever I hear the 'Rain Dove' coo in the evening. My dad always told me to listen for the Rain Dove to sing in the evening and he was right.

Mourning dove. When it coos

By thebair

Mourning dove. When it coos twice short and three long it will rain.

I just saw 2 low flying

By Judith Lorman

I just saw 2 low flying hawks..beautiful, but we just recieved a "dusting" of snow, does this mean more is to come soon and I mean ALOT more???

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