A new study suggests that these warblers detected the severe weather and got the heck out of the way—an ability never before documented in birds.
The scientists theorize the birds were tipped off by infrasound—a type of low-frequency noise—produced by the storms. Although humans can’t hear infrasound, birds can, and the destructive nature of these storms may make it advantageous for the birds to get out of the way despite the high-energy costs of flight.
“We were completely blown away by this behavior. It shows that the birds can do more than we give them credit for,” said study co-author Gunnar Kramer, a population ecologist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Continue reading..