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Can Animals Predict The Weather?

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Can Animals Predict The Weather?

While groundhogs are the most famous for predicting the weather, they aren’t the only animals that can tip you off about what to expect outside. Our ancestors watched animal behavior of all sorts to predict what weather was to come. The result? Weather folklore. Below is a list of animals known for their weather forecasting abilities.

11 Animals That Can Forecast The Weather:

Wolves always howl more before a storm.

When a cow endeavors to scratch its ear, it means a shower is very near.

If the robin sings in the bush, then the weather will be coarse;
If the robin sings on the barn, then the weather will be warm.

Wild geese, wild geese, going out to sea, all fine weather it will be. 
Wild geese, wild geese, going to the hill, The weather it will spill.

Deer and elk come down from the mountains at least two days before a storm.

If the rooster crows on going to bed, you may rise with a watery head.

When deer are in gray coat in October, expect a severe winter.

When the donkey blows his horn, 
‘Tis time to house your hay and corn.

When a squirrel eats nuts in a tree,
weather is as warm as warm can be.

When the cat lies in the Sun in February,
she will creep behind the stove in March.

If a cat sits with its back to the fire,
frost and hard weather can be expected.

When the swallow’s nest is high, the summer is very dry;
When the swallow buildeth low, you can safely reap and sow.

Check out these bird forecasters!

So before you put away your foul weather gear, observe how your pets or wild animals are behaving!

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1 Sandy { 07.29.19 at 9:19 am }

Here in MS you can bet it will rain soon after your hear the rain frogs croak! We have gone through many dry spells in the summer and early fall and they were silent. Once your hear them, at any time of the day, we usually get rain within 24 hours.

2 Elva Y Derby { 07.28.19 at 8:39 pm }

It is my humble opinion, but I firmly believe that animals know more than we do when it comes to predicting weather, especially when it come to the winter forecast, I’m on my way to 92 years of living on this blessed Earth, and some things never change. for which I’m very grateful. <3

3 Susan Higgins { 07.29.19 at 9:14 am }

Hi CarolAnn, your Nanna was correct! We have a story on it here: https://www.farmersalmanac.com/can-leaves-predict-a-storm-3195

4 CarolAnn { 07.28.19 at 11:41 am }

As a little child I learned from my Nanna that when the leaves on the bushes turned slightly upward, it was sure to rain. They turned upward in order to catch the raindrops. I would eagerly watch and it always did rain later that day. I do love the lore.

5 Susan Higgins { 07.29.19 at 9:15 am }
6 Meryl Easson { 07.28.19 at 10:29 am }

And what about the sky telling us , too?
Our Dad told us:
Red in the morning, sailor take warning,
Red at night, sailor’s delight.

7 Shari { 07.25.19 at 1:59 pm }

My grandmother would be 122 years old now. She taught me to listen to the Red Bird
Cardinal When his tweets sounded like the cadence of ( wet–wet–sure) It was going to rain. I have found that to be true here in Kentucky

8 Ronee { 07.24.19 at 11:19 am }

If the weather’s been somewhat mild for winter and you hear crows, there will be snow within 24 hrs.

9 art { 07.24.19 at 11:03 am }

The best way I’ve found to predict weather is to go outside!

10 Greg { 07.24.19 at 10:52 am }

If you hear a mourning dove cooing expect rain within next three days – this is absolutely a fact

11 Sharon { 07.24.19 at 9:46 am }

If Cows are laying down it’s gonna rain and fish aren’t biting. If they’re standing- no rain. If it’s been somewhat dry and all of a sudden you see a small “whirlwind “ , it’s going to be dry for a little longer. My Grandmother also taught me what rain beads looked like in the sky. It’s a certain way clouds will form looking like a sting of beads. It’s still a good indication rain is to follow.

12 Suzanne Mattson { 07.24.19 at 9:09 am }

The one about the Woolly Worm wasn’t listed. When I lived in Kentucky we could tell how severe the winter was going to be by the brown stripe on the fuzzy Woolly Worms that appeared in the fall.

13 Cynthia Roldan { 07.24.19 at 8:19 am }

We need to pass these down to future generations along with survival skills on what plants are good to eat and which ones can be used for medicine. I still keep my grandmoms manual can openers (the one you have to push to make a hole in the can and work around the top). Always good to be prepared when the electric fails.

14 richard king { 01.23.19 at 9:21 pm }

when a winter front is coming in i watch the black birds.. if they are flocking and swarming and feeding it means that the ground will be covered in oklahoma..

15 Debbie { 01.23.19 at 6:41 pm }

I love all these I can’t get enought

16 Pam G { 01.23.19 at 10:34 am }


I used to man a forestry fire tower, and I soon realized that when a storm was brewing, the squirrels and chipmunks would all come out and scream at one another. Took me awhile to catch on, but then I realized that this was a very reliable indicator.

17 Laura Buckley { 01.23.19 at 8:40 am }

Back when you could go for a leisurely Sunday drive we always checked what the cows in the field were doing.If laying down rain was likely.If most were up you could leave the umbrella home.
Love the lore.

18 Ann Harris { 01.23.19 at 7:58 am }

Love the folklore,

19 Jean Jackson { 01.23.19 at 6:51 am }

When a gray squirrel has an unusually bushy tail in Autumn, it will be a harsh winter. That was from my grandmother, and I’ve never seen it proven wrong!

20 Kim Massengill { 10.21.18 at 11:26 pm }

Here in Kentucky there are plenty of deer and Ive noticed their color was so dark this year..and our persimmon seeds have had the spoon…so now I know thank you for the information. 🙂

21 Laura { 02.04.18 at 7:40 pm }

Never heard the one about a cow scratching an ear but we looked to see if most were laying down in the field and then we would expect a rainy yield.
Love these bits of lore.Pass them on so they are not lost.Thanks.

22 allison cowin { 02.02.18 at 9:52 am }

This stuff is gold. It is losing ground in this era. So please never stop what you do. And for those that read it, please pass it down to your children. It’s too important to lose.

23 Kimberly Fuselier { 02.01.18 at 3:13 am }

I love reading the Farmer’s Almanac. Love the folklore & also the useful tips & tricks!

24 Pat M { 01.31.18 at 9:58 am }

This is January and I have noticed the squirrels chewing away at the pecans still in the trees. By this folklore poem, this means it will be warm. I am wondering for how long. This is the last day of January and it has been quite warm here in North eastern Oklahoma. So, I can say that one is very true. Now, what about February???

25 Ashley { 02.03.17 at 4:03 pm }

Gail has your pet deer lost its winter coat yet just curious. My cat has been sun bathing in the windo a lot lately and try’s to get out side but when it was cold he stayed in and didn’t want nothing to do with outside

26 Gail { 02.03.17 at 3:11 pm }

My pet deer started getting their winter coat in august. So I knew the winter would be colder.

27 marcelle spano { 02.03.17 at 7:40 am }

This is an Awesome folklore. I have made a copy of it..Its good to learn new things each day..thanks and have a blessed weekend.

28 MSVCP140 { 01.31.17 at 12:45 pm }

🙂 OK !

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