Whooping cranes on Wood Buffalo National Park see the “northern lights” often. What do they think about this phenomenon? Well, to be perfectly honest, no human knows. However, it is known that birds have a better vision than mammals. Most bird’s visible spectrum extends to the ultraviolet range, so their vision is far better than humans. Birds have more cones in their eyes than people which aid their vision.
The Northern lights are technically known as “aurora borealis. The Canadian Space Agency tweeted one alert and describes auroras as “natural displays of light in the sky that can be seen with the naked eye.”
“Auroras occur when charged particles (electrons and protons) collide with gases in the Earth’s upper atmosphere, producing tiny flashes that fill the sky with colorful light. As billions of these tiny flashes occur in sequence, the lights appear to move or ‘dance’” the Space Agency explains in a post.
The so-called solar flare that sparked the display is technically called a coronal mass ejection (CME). The strongest kind, called Class-X, could damage or hinder all electronic devices on earth, this might have been one of those. The solar storm could continue into Sunday and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center has issued a geomagnetic storm watch that lasts through the weekend.
If Friends of the Wild Whoopers had to guess, we believe that whooping cranes enjoy the aurora borealis!
by Friends of the Wild Whoopers staff
***** FOTWW’s mission is to help preserve and protect the Aransas/Wood Buffalo population of
wild whooping cranes and their habitat. *****