Birds are able to sense changes in air pressure. In particular, sudden changes in barometric pressure before a storm affect the migration of birds. We do not set off before the storm.
Changes in barometric pressure can also affect the feeding of birds. In laboratory experiments, the sudden drop in barometric pressure increased the food intake of the American Sparrowhawk and the White-throated Cricket – the birds apparently prepared for food shortages after the storm.
Many bird species are also capable of hearing infrasounds with a frequency of only a few tens of hertz. They also provide birds with information about impending weather changes. Namely, infrasound is generated in air currents, especially in mountains and coasts. Infrasound can travel up to hundreds of kilometers.
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However, weather forecasting is not always possible. For example, sparrow birds crossing the Gulf of Mexico during the autumn migration can drift far into the Atlantic, all the way to the Azores.
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The Azores are a mecca for European birdwatchers, with the aim of seeing as many bird species as possible in the western Palearctic region. Dozens of otherwise only bird species found on the American continent have been spotted in the Azores.
Defendant: Esa Hohtola,
Professor Emeritus of Animal Physiology, University of Oulu.
Published in Science Journal 1/2021
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