Psychic birds could predict storms in advance.
A new study
found that golden-winged warblers could predict extreme weather events, thanks to their low-frequency hearing.
A recent storm in eastern Tennessee led to 84 tornadoes and killed 35 people, but the golden-winged warblers left in time to fly to safety. Researchers discovered the birds' capabilities by accident — they were testing whether the warblers could carry geolocators on their backs.
Before the storm hit, the birds left Tennessee's Cumberland Mountains, migrating an astonishing 400 miles to the Gulf of Mexico. They escaped more than 24 hours before the storm arrived, and the researchers believe the birds knew the storm was coming because of the weather's low-range infrasounds.
"At the same time that meteorologists on The Weather Channel were telling us this storm was headed in our direction, the birds were apparently already packing their bags and evacuating the area," Henry Streby of the University of California, Berkeley, said in a statement.
- - Meghan DeMaria
Blog post photo: Robert Royse