Special Report: How do animals react during a solar eclipse? - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Special Report: How do animals react during a solar eclipse?

(WFIE) (WFIE)
TRI-STATE (WFIE) -

For those of us on the ground hoping to see a total eclipse, we tend to pay more attention to the sun than our surroundings. 

Wildlife, including insects and animals, will be a part of this too. For just about every animal in the path of the eclipse, it will be the first one they have ever seen. 

Just like a newborn baby, animals very well could get their days and nights mixed up. We met one young farmer, who can't wait to see the impact the eclipse has on his own animals.

While a lot of kids are playing video games, 11-year-old Cash Bowles spends his mornings and afternoon's on the Hopkins County farm he started.

"Every day I come out here and I see them and I think it's a wonderful day because of these animals," he said.

Cash has been farming for two years. He started out with six chickens and two goats. Now he's up to 51 chickens and nine goats.

"My mission here is to sustainably raise chickens and goats and grow every day and learn every day with my animals and my new experiences," said Cash.

And he's wondering what his animals will do when it turns dark in the middle of the day.

"They don't have a sense of time like we do," he said.

"They'll just be like, 'Oh my this is happening a lot faster than usual,' and they'll start to speed up their evening routine a little bit," said Mesker Park Zoo Education Curator Diana Barber, Ph. D.

The workers at Mesker Park Zoo have a pretty good idea of what might happen.

"You're going to start hearing our native frogs calling in the middle of the day instead of at night," said Daina. "Birds will stop singing when they ordinarily would be singing because they think it's bed time."

Cash made predictions for his own animals.

"It might possibly take the chickens a longer period of time to go in but I think that in the end, they should go in at one point," said Cash. "As for the goats, I think they will go straight to the barn or straight to the fence."

No matter what his fur and feathered family choose to do, he's calling for a celebration.

"It's going to be a big time for my animals and a big time for my family. This is something you just can't avoid, this is amazing." 

The science community is asking for your help to figure out how life responds to the dramatic event of a solar eclipse. The California Academy of Sciences invites citizen scientists like you to take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to record eclipse-related animal behavior with a special app. 

It's something you can do from your own backyard. Click here to learn more.

Copyright 2017 WFIE. All rights reserved. 

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