Animals and the August 2017 Solar Eclipse

animals eclipse

On Monday, August 21, North America will experience a total eclipse of the sun which will cross the continent from coast to coast. For months humans have been amping up for this auspicious event of the moon covering the sun for months by buying eclipse glasses (I have mine, do you have yours yet?), making travel plans and hotel reservations, coordinating eclipse events and parties with friends.

Does An Eclipse Affect Animals?

During the eclipse (depending on where you are in relationship to the eclipse), day becomes night and temperatures drop.

According to Science News, there is evidence that animals change their behavior:

  • In 1544 there were reports that birds ceased singing
  • An account in 1560 said “birds fell to the ground”
  • Crickets and frogs are reported to become vocal
  • Gnats and mosquitoes started swarming
  • Bees returned to their hives
  • Chickens went to roost

While researching I found the eclipse affects domesticated animals less than the animals in the wild. However, if you live in the band of totality, your animal pals may be more affected than if you live outside of that band.

Our animal family may not pay attention to the actual solar eclipse itself, but go about their routines as usual. Where the animals may show anxiety could be around the eclipse inspired events and celebrations, similar to 4th of July celebrations. If you’re worried about that for your animal pals, you might find the workshop “Pets & Fireworks: Not A Winning Combination” helpful. It has ideas on how to help domesticated animals, animals in the wild and farm animals.

Will Your Animal Pal Need Eclipse Glasses?

It’s a hung jury on that – some experts say yes, some say no. Angela Speck, director of astronomy and a professor of astrophysics at the University of Missouri, said at a news conference with NASA on June 21 in Washington, D.C. “On a normal day, your pets don’t try to look at the sun, and therefore don’t damage their eyes.  And on this day, they’re not going to do it, either.” She said about her own cat: “It’s not a concern, letting them [pets] outside,” Speck said. “I’m not going to worry about my cat.”

Be safe and enjoy this propitious event. If your animal pal does something unusual during the eclipse, send me an email, I’d love to hear about it!

Here’s To New Beginnings