There’s some moderately dramatic nighttime footage on social media of lots of of small songbirds swirling round a Maine lobster boat.
The boat captain, a well-liked TikTok content material producer, instructed it’s a harbinger of how intense Hurricane Lee goes to be when it hits right here on Saturday.
The video was posted by Jacob Knowles, a lobsterman out of Gouldsboro who has greater than 2 million followers on Tiktok the place he showcases his day-to-day life engaged on the water.
Makes an attempt to achieve Knowles weren’t profitable.
In his current chook video, which had been considered greater than 160,000 instances by Friday afternoon, he’s seen catching birds, pointing at birds touchdown on his boat and saying neither he nor his father has ever seen something prefer it throughout their mixed instances at sea.
Their solely clarification? The approaching hurricane.
Seems, if you’d like correct details about the approaching storm, you’re higher off checking the Nationwide Climate Service and never the songbirds. State wildlife and chook specialists are saying what Knowles witnessed are, in actual fact, regular — if excessive — examples of seasonal migratory chook habits.
“Right here we’re in mid-September, and it’s peak time for songbird migration,” mentioned Doug Hitchcox, naturalist with Maine Audubon. “They’re long-distance migrants, and on any given night time there will be tens of 1000’s of them over the Gulf of Maine.”
Most individuals are accustomed to seeing tiny birds just like the warblers in Knowles’ video over land, so it’s comprehensible folks may very well be involved and assume some form of inner avian barometer signaled them to fly offshore.
“That might perhaps be true if the birds have been nesting,” Hitchcox mentioned. “However this time of yr, it’s not unusual for a big amount of them to be out over the ocean.”
Hitchox had considered Knowles’ video, and mentioned dozens of individuals had forwarded it to him.
Whereas it’s possible some form of unfavorable climate situation pressured the migrating songbirds to drop down in elevation near the water, it’s impossible it was on account of Hurricane Lee. It was just too quickly for these circumstances to be hurricane-related, Hitchcox mentioned.
It’s additionally doable the intense operating lights on the lobster boats attracted the birds, he mentioned. Within the video crewmembers have been making an attempt to seize the small birds utilizing a internet on a pole. Hitchcox cautioned in opposition to that methodology because it might hurt the birds that weigh lower than an oz.
He isn’t discounting the birds might know one thing is up with the climate. He’s not satisfied they’re dependable climate forecasters.
“Birds and different animals are tremendous sensible,” Hitchcox mentioned. “They basically have in-built barometers and might sense modifications in atmospheric circumstances and might in all probability inform when there’s a large [storm] on the best way.”
After they do sense a change, migratory birds will hunker down till it passes. Householders will possible see extra exercise round chook feeders a day or so earlier than a giant storm as birds get as large of a meal as they’ll earlier than they’ve to hunt shelter.
Round Maine folks have taken to social media reporting what they thought-about uncommon late season hummingbird exercise round feeders.
“The hummingbirds are in all probability not performing unusual because of the hurricane,” Hitchcox mentioned. “There may be all the time a little bit of observer bias — if nobody knew a hurricane was coming, would they nonetheless say the hummingbirds have been performing unusual?”
On land it’s commonplace to see elevated exercise amongst wildlife within the state as in addition they can sense coming climate modifications.
“When there’s an approaching barometric low like a hurricane or Nor’Easter, animals do get extra energetic,” Mark Latti, spokesperson for the Maine Division of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, mentioned. “They know as soon as the storm hits they received’t be capable to transfer round as a lot.”