Birds in Storms


From thunderstorms and tornadoes to hurricanes and blizzards, how do birds survive treacherous storms that can cause thousands, even millions of dollars of damage to well-prepared communities?


How Birds Survive

Birds are well equipped to survive storms, and they have natural defenses and survival instincts that serve them well even in threatening weather.

  • Birds can sense the tiny pressure and temperature changes that signal an approaching storm, and many birds will leave the area to be out of reach of the worst weather.
  • A bird’s feathers are well insulated to protect them from excessive moisture or temperature changes, and they do not suffer from cold as humans would.
  • Birds instinctively take shelter when they cannot fly because of heavy rain or high winds. They will shelter in tree cavities, deep brush, or other protected locations and wait out the bad weather.

Unlike humans, birds do not have possessions to protect from the ravages of a storm, and they need only look out for themselves. Storms can still be devastating, however, and severe weather can damage or destroy nests, food sources or preferred habitat.


Helping Birds During Storms

While every backyard bird lover’s priority during a severe storm should be to make sure their property, family members and they themselves are safe, there are easy steps you can take to give the birds a helping hand.

  • Plant bird-friendly landscaping long before a storm arrives to give birds natural food sources and safe shelters to take advantage of.
  • Leave bird houses and roost boxes available for birds to use as alternative shelter in poor weather.
  • Keep feeders filled and available so birds will have a ready source of healthy nourishment they can depend on after a storm.
  • Know where local bird rescue centers are so you can contact them if you find an injured bird, and if you have the time, volunteer to help the center prepare for or recover from the storm so they can continue to assist birds.

Keep yourself and your home safe during storms first, and don’t worry about your backyard friends. Birds are survivalists and will soon return after the storm has passed, and any simple steps you can take to help them will ensure they return to your bird sanctuary as soon as the weather clears.

- Article courtesy of Melissa Mayntz

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