What do birds do during an earthquake?

Usually not an easy question to answer as we are rarely watching closely just as the earthquake hits. But the other night a magnitude 5.3 quake hit Hotel Punta Leona Costa Rica at 7:44 PM, when the nest cams were running, so we have it on video!

Despite the fact that nobody was injured, the adult macaws in all six of our nests reacted quickly and strongly. Immediately before the quake all were asleep or resting in the bottom of the nest. But within only 3 seconds after feeling the quake, two adults had flown out of the nest and the remaining adults were all sitting in the nest entrance ready to fly!

We suspect that there is a strong survival advantage for cavity nesting birds to get out quick if they think their tree is about to fall, but rarely do we get to witness such a strong and synchronized reaction. This time we got lucky!

Check out these amazing videos that show the exact moment when an earthquake struck and the incredible reactions of the macaws. It’s a mesmerizing sight that you won’t want to miss!

As the ground begins to shake and the world around them becomes unsteady, the macaws’ instincts kick in, and they react quickly and strongly trying to make sense of the unexpected chaos.