In detail

How are birds in storms, thunderstorms and rain?


Have you ever wondered what birds do during storms and thunderstorms? During a storm you rarely see fluttering men in the sky or water birds in the water. But where exactly are the animals when the sky lets go? Here are a few examples from the bird kingdom. "Oha! Thunderstorm is coming up, I have to look for protection", thinks this gray heron and starts - Shutterstock / Pavel Mikoska

Birds have been on earth for an incredibly long time, they have survived the ice age and have undergone millions of years of climate change. Enough time to think about strategies not to be brought to your knees by wind and heavy rain. And indeed: the animals know how to protect themselves. It is interesting that the ways of surviving bad weather differ from species to species.

The Perseverance: Together we are stoic

Some birds, including seagulls, geese, waders or even penguins, make it the easy way: they just persevere and wait until the weather gets better. If possible, the birds move close together and move into a position that offers as little attack surface as possible. The rest is done by the practical plumage of the animals, which has first-class thermal properties.

Large birds of prey such as sea eagles, kites or buzzards sit quietly in their waiting rooms during storms and bad weather, true to the motto: "I have to go through now, it will get better again".

Those seeking protection: water birds are hiding

Ducks, greylag geese and swans, that is: water birds, do things similarly, but a little differently. They also persevere, but look for hiding places especially for the bad weather. For example, water birds hatch between bank plants or hide in sheltered bays or caves in the bank area. Thanks to a special fat secretion, which the animals generate with the help of their so-called brush gland, rain does not bother the plumage and so they can wait in their cover until the sky clears again.

Little birds are also hiding. Our garden birds such as sparrows and blackbirds fly in trees, nesting boxes and buildings, for example, or seek protection in dense hedges and, if necessary, in the undergrowth. The herb layer on the ground is rarely used as a covering. Incidentally, there are also birds like the common swift, which generally avoid bad weather fronts widely - this is not always feasible, but in most cases works quite well.

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The protectors: children, stay dry!

Most bird parents literally sacrifice themselves for their offspring and remain in the nest so that the little ones do not get wet. So especially breeding birds stay on the nest and warm the eggs as long as possible. Ground breeders press themselves as close as possible to the nest to offer the least possible surface for the weather. Birds such as the osprey or the stork that breed exposed simply persevere and demonstrate amazing resistance to storms, rain, etc. during breeding or rearing.