how do birds act before a storm

How do birds act before a storm? Birds display intriguing behaviors before the onset of a storm, which suggest their ability to sense approaching changes in the weather.

The behaviors exhibited by birds before a storm are crucial for their survival as they help them to prepare and adjust to the upcoming weather conditions.

And there are many reasons why researchers and bird enthusiasts are interested in knowing the answer to, “What do birds do when a storm is coming?”

As a storm approaches, birds tend to become more active, seek shelter, gather in flocks, and may even modify their migration patterns. 

Can Birds Sense a Storm?

can birds sense a storm

Birds have an exceptional capability to detect oncoming storms.

They have a heightened sensitivity to variations in atmospheric conditions, specifically alterations in barometric pressure, which frequently occur before the onset of inclement weather.

Birds can sense even the slightest changes in air pressure, enabling them to predict the onset of storms.

Furthermore, they can detect changes in wind patterns, temperature, and humidity, enhancing their ability to sense storms.

Birds are able to engage in preparatory behaviors such as heightened activity, flocking, and seeking shelter well before a storm arrives due to their sensory perceptions. 

An Important Consideration

The ability of these birds to sense storms is an important survival mechanism that helps them protect themselves from potential dangers and adjust to changing environmental conditions.

Scientists and enthusiasts can gain valuable insights into the intricate connections between avian instincts and the natural world by observing the behaviors of birds in the presence of approaching storms. 

How Do Birds Act Before a Storm?

bird behavior before a storm

When a storm approaches, the creatures of nature, such as birds, exhibit impressive adaptability and natural survival tactics.

As mentioned, birds have a remarkable ability to sense changes in the atmosphere, allowing them to predict the arrival of storms.

This ability enables them to engage in various behaviors crucial for their protection and preservation.

Scientists and bird enthusiasts have gained valuable insights into avian behavior by observing them before, during, and after storms, including their responses and the mechanisms driving their actions.   

Sensing a Storm

sensing a storm

Birds act differently when they sense a storm is coming. It means that you can actually find various pre-storm indicators of an impending storm.

Birds display different behaviors that indicate their awareness of approaching storms and changes in the atmosphere.

They have a keen sense of barometric pressure, which allows them to detect slight changes that occur before storms.

Fact: Birds tend to become more active and increase their foraging behavior before a storm arrives and it enables them to gather crucial resources and energy reserves. 

The Flocking Behavior

the flocking behavior

Birds often take flight and gather in large groups, called flocks, before a storm.

The collective behavior exhibited by a group serves various purposes such as:

  • Improving safety
  • Facilitating communication
  • Exchanging critical information

The behavior of flocking can be beneficial for birds as it helps them reduce the risk of being preyed upon and increases their likelihood of finding food and shelter once the storm has passed. 

Seeking Shelter

seeking shelter

Birds adapt their behavior to seek shelter in various ways as storms intensify, depending on their specific habitats and available resources.

Numerous species choose to seek shelter and protection within dense vegetation, such as trees, bushes, or thickets.

The leaves and branches of trees and plants serve as a protective barrier during severe weather conditions such as strong winds and heavy rainfall.

This shield helps to minimize the risk of harm and provides a secure place to take refuge until the storm subsides. 

Storm Avoidance Behavior

storm avoidance behavior

Numerous species of birds display fascinating behavior to avoid storms.

During storms, marine animals gather in safe havens like bays, estuaries, or inland water bodies where the storm’s effects are less severe.

By making use of these strategic locations, they can benefit from natural barriers and minimize the potential risks that come with strong winds and high tides. 

Changed Migration Patterns

Bird migration patterns are significantly impacted by storms, especially during seasonal transitions.

Migratory birds have the ability to change their flight paths or postpone their departure when they sense an approaching storm.

changed migration patterns

This behavior enables them to steer clear of flying directly into dangerous weather conditions, thereby ensuring a migration that is safer and more successful. 

An Important Consideration

Storms can sometimes serve as catalysts for migration, causing birds to commence their journeys earlier than anticipated.

These birds that migrate through the air make use of the advantageous winds that come with the storm system, using them to assist their flight and save energy.

Fact: Strategic decision-making is crucial for birds to optimize their migration routes and improve their chances of reaching their destinations. 

How Do Different Birds Act Before a Storm?

birds pre-storm behavior diversity

When it comes to learning more about how birds act before a storm, it is important to consider their habitat and their species as well. 

Sparrows, Jays and Crows

During wind and torrential rain storms, trees and shrubs can have a significant impact.

During a storm, birds such as jays, sparrows, and crows tend to seek shelter on thick and sturdy branches located near the trunk of a tree.

They position themselves facing away from the wind and rain to wait out the storm. Perching birds have the ability to automatically grab branches while they sleep.

This helps them stay attached to the branch and conserve heat and energy until the storm subsides. 


types of songbirds

Songbirds will come out of their shelters to feed during rainy weather when it is necessary.

Certain bird species, such as robins and thrushes, exhibit a remarkable boldness during rainy weather, taking advantage of the situation to hunt for worms.

Birds spend a significant amount of time preening their feathers to create a waterproof barrier that helps them stay dry during rainfall. 

Water-Dwelling Birds

Birds such as ducks and herons are well-suited to heavy rainfall and tend to thrive in such conditions.

Ducks and waders, such as herons, have a tendency to venture out of their usual habitats in deeper waters and explore newly flooded areas.

This is because they are attracted to the potential opportunities and food sources that may be available in these areas. 


types of seabirds

Seabirds such as albatrosses and gulls are proficient fliers and are capable of soaring even in strong winds.

During periods of strong winds lasting several days, seabirds may not have a place to rest and may be forced to return to the shore.

Some of them may reach the outer limits of the storm and choose to endure it in a location where the weather is less severe

Birds Living in Cavities

birds living in cavities

Birds, such as chickadees, owls, and woodpeckers, seek shelter from storms by taking refuge inside their cavities.

Owls, in particular, face difficulties while flying in the rain.

The wings of an owl are designed for noiseless flight, but they are not waterproof and tend to get saturated with water quite easily. 

What Do Birds Do After a Storm?

what do birds do after a storm

After a storm has passed, birds engage in recovery activities and put an effort to rebuild their habitat.

During this period, foraging behavior becomes crucial for birds as they search for food that may have been displaced or become more accessible due to the impact of the storm.

Dynamic shifts within ecosystems can be created by the influence of bird populations and their interactions with other species.

Seabirds often congregate along the shoreline in coastal regions to feed on fish or invertebrates that have been washed ashore by storm surges.

Temporary events like these can increase food availability, which can positively impact the bird populations in the area.

Fact: Storms can lead to the accumulation of organic matter and nutrients, which can be utilized by birds as a source of food. 

Importance of Understanding How Birds Before a Storm

importance of birds before storm

It is important to understand how birds behave before a storm for various reasons.

Studying avian behavior in relation to approaching storms can offer valuable insights into how animals respond to environmental changes.  

Furthermore, studying bird behavior prior to a storm can assist individuals in predicting and getting ready for harsh weather circumstances.

This can help people take appropriate measures to safeguard themselves and their belongings.

Birds are essential components of ecosystems and play significant ecological roles.

Their behaviors before a storm can have significant effects on their survival, growth, and interactions with other species.

Fact: By comprehending the impact of storms on birds, researchers can evaluate the potential consequences on bird populations and execute conservation measures. 


How do birds act before a storm? Birds have impressive abilities to anticipate, adapt, and survive when faced with approaching storms.

Birds exhibit a range of instinctual responses that showcase their impressive evolutionary adaptations, from pre-storm indicators to finding shelter, adjusting migration patterns, and recovering after a storm.

Learning about these behavioral patterns can also help us predict bad weather conditions and take measures in a timely manner.