Where do migratory birds go when it rains?

It got 7700 views.

It got 14 upvotes.

And it got closed.

This is sending me mixed messages.

It got closed for being "primarily opinion-based". And maybe it's just me, but...

How can bird behavior be opinion based?

I'm not asking for subjective interpretations of behavior. I'm not asking what you think the birds do. I'm asking a simple question: "When X happens, what do birds do?" X happens to be "It starts raining".

And the community's answer is "Well, that depends on how you feel about it."

To me, that's... that just doesn't make any sense at all.

I'm not a scientist, I'm not a biologist, I don't do anything related to biology in either my work or my spare time, so I might not have the knowledge to understand the reasons behind these close votes... but surely, when it starts raining, the birds don't care about our opinions and just do their own thing?

... Unless it's based on the birds's opinions themselves of course.


For what it's worth, I don't understand either why the question was closed as "primarily opinion-based". It might be that some people see it as opinion-based in the sense that different bird species will do different things. This is true, but if this is the reason for closing, I think it should be labelled as "Too broad". However, since the question is rather open-ended and out of general curiosity, I don't see a problem with an answer that lists a number of bird behaviours during rain, with examples of species they apply to.

(I've nominated it for reopening, so we'll see what happens)

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ A broad question is something for which the answers are available but they would be very lengthy if they are to be provided. Opinion-based questions do not strike a precise point, as I see it, and therefore there would be a lot of speculation in the answers. I thought that this question was of the latter category because afaik there are no such behavioral studies. The XKCD joke was, as I interpreted, about the vagueness of the question of where do birds go. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Oct 21 '14 at 10:09
  • $\begingroup$ To me, that is a very strange reading of "...answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.". An answer to this question could most certainly be based on facts, maybe just a lot of them. Are you saying that a textbook on bird migration should also be "closed" as "opinion-based" (basically "How do birds move around during the year, and where do they go?")? Looking at questions asking for examples you see BioSE already has a lot of these open-ended/broad Qs. $\endgroup$ – fileunderwater Oct 21 '14 at 10:18
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Now that you said it I think that it could have been broad. Examples-questions are fine as long as they are clear about what examples are needed. Anyways this question can be reopened if it is narrowed down a little bit. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Oct 21 '14 at 10:27

How is it different from asking what do people do when it rains? There are different birds with different habitats and behaviors. How can it be answered precisely? Bird behavior is not opinion based- the answers to this question will most likely be opinion based. If you add details to the question then precise answers are possible. You can always edit the question and it can be reopened.

  • $\begingroup$ So it's based on the birds opinions? $\endgroup$ – Pimgd Oct 21 '14 at 10:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Pimgd No.. based on what people's opinions are about the bird behavior. I don't say the question is wrong but it is likely to attract speculative answers $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Oct 21 '14 at 10:15
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Downvote those answers. I'm not looking for speculative answers. That's what the rest of the internet for. I come to a SE site to get something that's been vetted by a community. An answer that's not "I think" but "I know". $\endgroup$ – Pimgd Oct 21 '14 at 10:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Pimgd shall vote to reopen. But it still would require some additional details or narrowing down. For e.g. confine the question to behavior of migratory birds. Is that fine? $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Oct 21 '14 at 10:24
  • $\begingroup$ That's perfect, because that's what I wanted to know. Birds that don't migrate can just hide. But migrating birds can't, and that's what I'm wondering about in my question: "But what if they're busy trekking to warmer lands? They can't just keep hiding until it's dry again, can they?" $\endgroup$ – Pimgd Oct 21 '14 at 10:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .