Where do the birds go before a storm?  

Barry Evans
Barry Evans

Well, the storm has passed, but The Blonde in the house is still fretting. Actually, she was fretting about the same subject before the storm. That is, where do the birds go before a storm – and now when do they come back?  Before the storm I told her that birds have been in Florida for thousands of years, and I was pretty certain that they had something in their DNA or whatever that gave them a warning. She looked it up on Google and found a similar explanation. (I was given due credit).

However, now the birds have not returned to our bird feeder in the abundance that they did before Irma.  Even the mourning doves have not returned to pick up the dropped seeds.  My explanation is that Irma covered a really wide expanse, and the birds probably had to go a really long distance to avoid the storm.  Coming back is probably just as difficult as it was for people.  I-75 and the other interstates were a mess.  The bird flight corridors are most likely the same.  She couldn’t find that in google, so she is still worried.

It appears to me that rather than listen to frenetic weather people – whose main object is to scare the heck out of us – is to take a different approach to knowing when to leave.  I believe that we should just turn the TV off when a hurricane is within a couple of weeks away and position local bird watchers around.  They could watch the birds and when they saw them packing their little suitcases and getting out of Dodge they could warn us.  Then, we could batten down the hatches and either hunker in or take off ourselves.

Since birds are more alert than people, they would most likely give us a definite early warning, and those who wanted to go north could get on the interstates before those who insist on obtaining their information from frenetic meteorologists.  Coming back on the interstates would still be a problem, but at least those warned by the birds could get a good motel room.  Yep, there are a lot of reasons for depending on Mother Nature’s agents.

Speaking of interstates, I recall that they were started during the Eisenhower administration.  Can you imagine what life would be like if we had to flee a hurricane by going up 301 or 441/27 (which meet in Belleview)?  It would be one cotton pickin’ mess.  Then, we would have to put up with today’s Congress to come up with an interstate system.  During the next few months’ legislation would be tied up in a committee who would be arguing whether the odd numbered Interstates should run north/south or east/west with a split along party lines.

Now I am not trying to disparage the present Congress, but aren’t you glad they did something back in the Eisenhower era?

Barry Evans writes up Life in The Villages for Villages-News.com