Rain expected

To: Syd Curtis <>
Subject: Rain expected
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2004 15:56:43 +1000

My grandfather use to say that when the mudlarks and magpies called together in song, then it would rain within 24 hours.

I've often found this too be a reliable indicator and it makes sense that both species would be happy about the prospects of nice soft ground to pluck a  juicy worm out of.

I think that these types of stories should be considered in a regional context though, and might not be exportable as general rules to other locations.


Syd Curtis <>
Sent by:

16/08/2004 09:02 PM

bird <>
[BIRDING-AUS] Rain expected

Reid asked, 14 Aug. '04:

Does anyone else know of incidents (either fact or fable) where birds, by their activities or behaviour, seem to provide an advance indication/foreknowledge of coming physical events  - rain, thunderstorms, earthquakes, flood, locqust plague, etc, in advance of any indications being obvious to humans?

Family folk-lore in the 1930s was that when Currawongs gathered in a large flock all singing together, this indicated that rain was coming.  This was on Tamborine Mountain just in from the Gold Coast, southern Queensland.  

On 15 June 1984,  I tape recorded such a currawong chorus at the Caravan Park at Mt Warning, where I was staying to record Albert's Lyrebirds in the  National Park.  It was fine when I recorded the currawongs, but rain followed.  So much in fact that I had to stay an extra night because the creek came up and covered the bridge.

Coincidence?  Probably.  But just maybe ...



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