10 Ways Animals Supposedly Predict the Weather

Squirrel Nest Location Indicates Type of Winter
Two baby squirrels emerge from their nest. Does the nest location foretell the kind of winter we might have? Sally Newcomb/iStock/Thinkstock

Squirrels are adept at leaping from tree limb to tree limb, gathering acorns and darting around in front of my car just for the fun of it, but can our bushy-tailed neighbors offer insight into the winter ahead? According to long-held lore, careful observation of squirrel nesting patterns can predict how severe the coming winter will be. If nests are predominantly located high in trees, one can deduce that winter weather will be exceptionally harsh; lower nests indicating milder temps on the horizon.

Although there isn't any way to conclusively debunk this theory, there is zero hard evidence to back it up, either. Experts say that past and current weather are more likely to influence behaviors such as where a furry friend sets up shop [source: WGN].

Still, squirrels are pretty entertaining to observe, which is probably why there are several other theories out there regarding weather-related behavior. For example, an abundance of overly plump ones is alleged to indicate a tough winter to come. Also looking at whether a squirrel gathers acorns at a leisurely or hurried pace can supposedly tell you what kind of winter you can look forward to [sources: Lovern, Brown].

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