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The Eclipse May Cause Certain Animals To Act Differently

Wyoming toad
Sara Armstrong
/
USFWS Mountain-Prairie

While you’re watching the eclipse next week, you might notice a change in the sound of wildlife around you. With the sudden switch from light to dark, along with a temperature drop, the eclipse may affect the behavior of certain animals — like rodents, birds, and amphibians.  

Grant Frost, a biologist with Wyoming’s Game and Fish Department, said, “Some animals will begin to awaken, to stir, because they think that night is coming on . . . you might hear some changes in the calls they make just because they’re thinking they should gather together or whatever the activity is.”

Frost said birds might begin making contact calls signaling to gather back together for the night. Rodents may start their days, thinking it's night-time, only to quickly return to their hiding places. Insects and frogs may start chirping and croaking as they do in the early morning or at dusk. 

Frost said dogs and cats will most likely not notice the eclipse and should not change behavior. The solar event is expected to pass over Wyoming from 10:17 am to about 11:35 next Monday, August 21. 

Before Wyoming, Cooper McKim has reported for NPR stations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and South Carolina. He's reported breaking news segments and features for several national NPR news programs. Cooper is the host of the limited podcast series Carbon Valley. Cooper studied Environmental Policy and Music. He's an avid jazz piano player, backpacker, and podcast listener.
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