Where will you be during Monday’s eclipse?

Join other skywatchers in Canada and the U.S. and observe animal behaviour during the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21

A photo of the moon covering most of the sun during a solar eclipse

In the Kootenays, we will see a partial solar eclipse from 10:16 a.m. to 12:48 p.m. (Mountain Time Zone). — Can Stock photo/solarseven

If you’re planning to watch the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21, why not add to a huge body of observations?

The folks in charge of the website iNaturalist.org want us to observe the behaviour of wild animals during the eclipse, which will be a partial solar eclipse in our part of the world. Then add your observations using an app and be part of a large citizen scientist project.

The sudden darkness—caused by the moon blocking the sun—will cause some animals to react as if nighttime has come early; crickets, for example, will start chirping. Cows will start heading to their barns and bees to their hives.

Diurnal songbirds will likely become quiet. Nocturnal birds will do the opposite.

More intelligent animals may stop and stare up at the sky, apparently knowing that something unusual is going on, as llamas have been observed to do. In one study, chimpanzees appeared confused as they watched a solar eclipse.

The California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco serves as the homebase for iNaturalist. The website is an online network of people sharing information about nature.

So find a good spot to observe the eclipse as well as some birds or beasts. And watching the animals instead of looking directly at the sun will protect your eyes from harm.

 

Virginia Rasch

Virginia is a writer and copy editor with Koocanusa Publications. She is an avid outdoor recreationist in all seasons and has lived in the Kootenays for 10 years. With degrees in the natural sciences, she has worked as a tour guide, an environmentalist, a writer, and a copy editor of scientific publications. Virginia now brings her passion for everything green to Kootenay Business. View all of Virginia Rasch’s articles

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