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Where Do Birds Go When It Rains? Get the Facts Here!

Written by Clinton Atkins / Fact Checked by George Dukes

where do birds go when it rains

Rain touches everything underneath the clouds, including our feathered friends. And just like humans, birds seek shelter when it pours. But where do birds go when it rains?

Well, some birds seek shelter under roof eaves, trees, bushes, and other objects that provide them protection from raindrops and flying debris.

Keep reading as we look through some places where birds might stay when it rains, storms, snows, and more!

Where Do Birds Hide When It Rains?

where-do-birds-go-during-a-hurricane

Thousands of bird species are scattered all over the world. So, to better locate the various refuges of birds during bad weather, let us first divide their habitats into three categories.

  • Forest – a type of environment dense with trees, woods, and snags. Birds of this type include the black-throated blue warbler, flycatchers, and vireos.
  • Non-forest – a type of environment with diverse vegetation, including gardens and shrubs. Birds of this type include pigeons, starlings, and sparrows.
  • Water – a type of environment composed of either saltwater or freshwater. Birds of this type include seagulls, penguins, and flamingos.

1. When it drizzles

When it drizzles, birds can fly outside under the sky just like they would on any other day. They are able to forage for food, remain active, and simply go on.

All of this is made possible by their robust plumage. Birds preen their feathers with wax, which helps to keep them dry during light rain even if it is not waterproof.

Furthermore, these feathers had timely developed since they can hold air to keep the birds warm.

2. When it rains

birds-sleep-when-it-rains

The bird’s activity is momentarily interrupted when it rains. Birds use the neighboring trees and bushes as a refuge. And during this time, they will remain stationary to conserve energy.

Rain can be bothersome, but still, birds sleep when it rains on their chosen shelter when it is time to roost.

For birds whose habitat is water, some can withstand the rain. In exception, smaller seabirds will need to seek shelter on land.

So, where do seagulls go when it rains? The answer is that seagulls take shelter inland while standing on trees, pretty much what any bird would do.

However, bird in rain cannot hide for a very long time. They have to find food in order to survive. For some, it is a matter of starvation versus heavy rain.

Hypothermia (low body temperature) is a deadly occurrence that can hit the birds when their body loses heat faster than it produces, mainly due to cold.

We have mentioned that there are birds whose habitat is water, so in another story, heavy rain favors the water birds. For instance, ducks take advantage of flooded fields by making it their new home.

Thus, the answer to the question of “do birds like the rain?” depends on the type of species. But if you were a duck, you are indeed lucky.

3. When it storms

where-do-seagulls-go-when-it-rains

The best thing a bird can do during a storm is to flee to a safe place. Due to the disrupted atmospheric condition and severe weather, it is too risky for birds to carry on their normal lives.

A hurricane is a cyclone that produces a lot of rain, heavy winds of 200 miles per hour, storm surges, and even tornadoes!

So, where do birds go during a hurricane? As a means to survive, birds seek shelter in thick bushes and trees and coverings such as nest boxes and natural cavities.

Evidence has shown that birds know in advance when the storm is coming using an infrasound and barometer sensitivity. With this, fishermen observe seabirds’ behavior to determine if a storm is coming.

Birds who are too far from the land would have no choice but to remain offshore. These birds will fly hundreds of miles and may even take days to complete their journey by gliding on the winds just to travel where the weather is more favorable.

Unfortunately, many seabirds die in this extreme weather. Forest birds are also declining in number due to the threat of climate change.

4. When it snows

bird-in-rain

Snow is another type of precipitation. Instead of raindrops, snow produces snowflakes due to low temperatures.

During this weather, the day gets cold. Those who cannot withstand it will mostly migrate to warmer places. For those who are evolutionarily prepared, snow is just a nuisance for finding food.

As long as there is food, birds can survive snow storms thanks to their fat bodies and counter-current circulation in their legs, which both keep them warm.

5. When its windy

bird-in-rain

During a violent wind, such as in a windstorm, birds have an in-born instinct to go low and seek cover along the ground or in trees.

Just like how birds seek shelter from the above weather, birds also keep out of the sky to avoid the harm.

FAQs

during-a-storm

How do birds feel when it’s raining?

Most birds do not like rain. In fact, their stress level increases when it rains. This might not surprise you as what you would have felt if your body is getting wet while food is getting hard to find.

Do birds sit out in the rain?

In light rain, birds can sit out in the shower and just carry on with their lives. But when it gets heavy, most birds sit out under cover to avoid the rain and conserve energy.

Do birds take a bath in the rain?

Birds commonly seek shelter when it rains. However, when in drought, rain can also be an opportunity for birds to take a shower and groom their feathers. Birds in the wild may also nuzzle in the rain.

How can I help birds during rain?

To increase the birds’ chances of surviving during the rain, you can provide them with a human-made shelter such as a nest box or plant trees and bushes along with food.

Conclusion

You might have searched on Reddit and other websites the question about where do birds go when it rains. But we hope that this article has answered all your questions.

We hope this article helped you understand that whether it rains or snows, most birds seek shelter to keep them warm and safe.

If you have any other questions about birds in rain, please feel free to share it with us. Thank you for reading!

Furthermore, don’t forget to check other interesting topics of birds behavior:

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Clinton-Atkins


Clinton Atkins

Author

Hi, I'm Clinton. Rocky and I became friends after a birdwatching trip with our new group. And we have been enjoying every adventure together. When he told me the idea of establishing a site that shares our experiences and fun, I immediately agreed. After trials and errors, here we have Thayerbirding.

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