BBC News – Birds ‘heard tornadoes coming’ and fled one day ahead

18 December 2014 Last updated at 21:21 ET
By Jonathan Webb Science reporter, BBC News

Multiple tornadoes devastated parts of the southern and central US in April
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US scientists say tracking data shows that five golden-winged warblers “evacuated” their nesting site one day before the April 2014 tornado outbreak.

Geolocators showed the birds left the Appalachians and flew 700km (400 miles) south to the Gulf of Mexico.

The next day, devastating storms swept across the south and central US.

Writing in the journal Current Biology, ecologists suggest these birds – and others – may sense such extreme events with their keen low-frequency hearing.

Remarkably, the warblers had completed their seasonal migration just days earlier, settling down to nest after a 5,000km (3,100 mile) journey from Colombia.

…(read more)

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