Weather forecasting is for the birds—bluebirds, that is.
Here in Carpenter Country, the magical place where we write, we offer room and board to local avians in exchange for the pleasure of their company. We built two of our community birdhouses especially for bluebirds, and they’ve been continually occupied over the years.
During that time, the bluebirds-in-residence have followed the same routine. In spring, for warmth, they raise chicks in the box that sits in full sun. In summer, to keep the nestlings cooler, they use the quarters that occupy a shady spot close to a leafy Sycamore.
Last month, Mr. and Mrs. Blue reversed the procedure and built a summer nest at their spring address.
We’re pretty sure bluebirds don’t move house because the kitchen in the new place is equipped with great appliances or the bathroom has a hot tub. We think they’re more into the realtor’s creed of location, location, location. They decide—in advance—which location will offer the best conditions for the survival of their chicks.
So, are bluebirds better at long range forecasting than human meteorologists?
Turns out they are. Every day during the month of July, the weather people predicted an occasional shower and lots of sunshine. But the birds knew July would be cloud-covered and rain-soaked.
Perhaps forecasters should watch birds instead of computer models. How about putting bluebirds on the air? A live-stream webcam of bluebird activity would be more interesting than swirling maps of radar simulations. And, given the accuracy of recent forecasts, Mr. and Mrs. Blue would earn their salary of insects and berries.
What do you think? Is employing bluebirds as forecasters an idea whose time has come? Or could it only happen in Carpenter Country, a place that, like our stories, is unreal but not untrue?
This post was part of the Long and Short Reviews 7th Anniversary Bash that took place August 25 to 29, 2014. Long and Short Reviews features and reviews romance, erotic romance, YA/Middle Grade, Mystery/Suspense, SFF and mainstream fiction, so you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy.