Possibly the weather is the most common topic of conversation and time was when nature played a bigger role in forecasting climatic changes, and birds in particular featured in this business.
Centuries ago Noah sent out a raven and a dove to help him to predict the weather. Plenty of country folk still put their faith in the omens of nature. Shepherds, drovers and ploughmen used to keep an eye out for incoming seagulls as these signalled strong winds and violent storms.
Land workers, hearing the sharp, laughing cry of the green woodpecker believed it to be a certain warning of wet weather. Crows, buzzards and swallows, wheeling high in the heavens, indicated fine weather. The cockerel was thought to be a very reliable weather prophet and it was often seen on weather vanes. Daylight cock crowing meant dry weather but evening crowing made for the onset of rain. Herons flying around continuously and ducks and other water birds constantly preening also indicated wet weather. Today we have all the sophisticated gadgetry of predicting weather patterns but at times mother nature may well do a good job of telling us what to expect in our weather.