Article and Photography by Norma Beaird
The Lord smiled upon us today. Anyone who knows us also knows that we love all species of birds.....songbirds, shorebirds, birds of prey and even turkey vultures! Still, we had not been visited by a beautiful Painted Bunting.
In the last 48 hours, there has been a huge and very severe weather system that included tornadoes ripping through several states causing much damage; and sadly, heart-breaking fatalities in several states.
This severe weather system also helped to push migrating birds even further north during the migration period. For example, the following radar map shows a large number of birds leaving ahead of the storm headed towards Metro Atlanta and North Georgia:
When a weather front comes barreling through, birds will leave ahead of time to get out of the way. In the case above, the birds most likely landed instead of escaping the storm. This means that migrants who were visiting your feeders will probably leave if a storm is coming your way. In addtion, this also means that birds from other areas may arrive at your feeders, looking for some food and rest.
Wind, rain, thunderstorms, barometric pressure - weather systems in general contribute to bird movements all over the U. S. and Canada. If you feed birds on a regular basis and the barometric pressure changes, you will notice a change in their behavior. Birds will become frantic, flying all over the yard, landing on the feeders, grabbing seeds and leaving. Sometimes, they will run each other off the feeders. Maybe we can call it a feeding frenzy!
We can basically predict the weather by watching the birds at our feeders and know that the barometric pressure is changing. (Barometric pressure is also referred to as atmospheric pressure) As the barometric pressure affects the birds, it also affects humans.
Weather systems, birds and all of nature work together. One affects the other and vice versa. That's one reason that we always watch for the full moon and stay updated with the moon phases. As barometric pressure affects the birds, the moon affects the ocean tides.
As a matter of fact, many people plant crops according to the phases of the moon. As God intended, all creation works together in cycles, seasons and movements. Understand weather and moon phases gives us a better understanding of all things avian.
Therefore, when you feed and watch birds, pay close attention to migration patterns, weather systems and moon phases. By closely monitoring the migration patterns and weather fronts, you can learn to predict when new migrants may be arriving in your area. It creates a keen sense of awareness and understanding in us, knowing that in God's plan, it all works together.
As you can see in this article, the good Lord and a storm sent us a gorgeous female Painted Bunting!
Copyright 2014, Curtis and Norma Beaird. All rights reserved.