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How Does a Total Solar Eclipse Affect Animals?

How does a total solar eclipse affect animals? The sudden darkness disrupts animals’ circadian rhythms, navigation and behavior. Birds stop singing, bats emerge, and some migrate or hunt less effectively – according to experts at Rainbow Symphony.
a solar eclipse over a forest with a bird flying
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    Changes in Daylight Confuse Animals

    As the moon blocks out the sun during a total solar eclipse, the sudden change in daylight can confuse animals. Birds may stop singing and return to their nests, while nocturnal animals like bats may emerge thinking night has fallen. According to Rainbow Symphony, some animals may behave as if dusk has arrived, while others act as if dawn is breaking.

    Disruption of Circadian Rhythms

    A total solar eclipse disrupts the circadian rhythms of many animals. Their daily cycles of activity and rest are cued by exposure to sunlight and darkness. During an eclipse, this regular pattern is interrupted, which can impact animals’ eating, sleeping, and mating behaviors. As noted by Rainbow Symphony , some animals may become restless or lethargic due to these disruptions.

    Changes in Animal Navigation

    Some animals use the sun and polarized light for navigation and orientation. During a total solar eclipse, the sun is obscured and polarized light patterns are disrupted. This can impact animals’ abilities to navigate, hunt, and migrate effectively. Certain birds, insects, and sea creatures are especially sensitive to these changes, according to National Geographic.


    A total solar eclipse causes disruptions in animals’ circadian rhythms, navigation abilities, and behaviors. Many animals become confused and disoriented due to sudden changes in daylight and polarized light patterns during an eclipse, which impacts their eating, sleeping, migration, and mating habits.

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