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How can birds fly in heavy rain?

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How can birds fly in heavy rain?

Pigeons, Swifts and Seagulls are flying past in heavy rain as I look out of my window...how can they do it?
If I drive in heavy rain at 30mph and put my head out of the window I'm blinded by the rain.
Do birds have some kind of protective transparent eyelid.....with wipers?
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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

Quote from: Strat
If I drive in heavy rain at 30mph and put my head out of the window I'm blinded by the rain.
Have you really tried that Undecided

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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

Only when someone cuts me up.....
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Roberto0151
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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

Quote from: Strat
Pigeons, Swifts and Seagulls are flying past in heavy rain as I look out of my window...how can they do it?
If I drive in heavy rain at 30mph and put my head out of the window I'm blinded by the rain.
Do birds have some kind of protective transparent eyelid.....with wipers?

Think nictitating membrane ?
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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

That could well be the answer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nictitating_membrane Smiley
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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

If you think about it..... they don`t need to see where they are flying, once they are "up there"... so they can close their eyes,.... so long as they keep flapping their wings, and can feel the rain hitting them from a certain direction... (*i.e. on their back )... then they know they are flying the right way up  ! ! ! ..  Roll eyes  They will get "feedback" from the way the rain "sounds" if they are approaching a big tree/wall/mast, so a quick "peek" just to get their bearings, and a quick change of direction, and they will be safe !!!!! ..
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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

Some birds have their own built-in (or should be built-on) umbrellas:

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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

Considering the speed at which they flap their wings (and consequently I can only imagine that they experience life at a faster rate), I would say they probably blink their eyes a lot / very quickly.
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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

Sometimes not fast enough.
I've watched a flock of pigeons fly over my garden on a clear calm day with one of them flying straight into the top of my clothes line pole.
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Re: How can birds fly in heavy rain?

Quote from: Strat
Pigeons, Swifts and Seagulls are flying past in heavy rain as I look out of my window...how can they do it?
If I drive in heavy rain at 30mph and put my head out of the window I'm blinded by the rain.
Do birds have some kind of protective transparent eyelid.....with wipers?

I don't know, but my friend, Ornithologist Professor Albert Ross may know why.
He specialises in Wave Hoppers, who have to contend with Sea Spray.