Discover Nature: Total Solar Eclipse

Aug 16, 2017

A rare total solar eclipse will cast a shadow of the moon from northwest to southeast Missouri on Monday, August 21. This mid-day twilight will cause wildlife to react as if a brief night has fallen, followed by another dawning of the sun.
Credit Missouri Department of Conservation

On summer evenings, as day turns to night, insects and wildlife undergo a routine changing-of-the-guard. This week on Discover Nature, we take a look at what to expect in nature as a rare total solar eclipse casts a shadow across the middle of Missouri.

On Monday, August 21, along a path from northwest to southeast Missouri, the sky will begin to darken into a mid-day twilight. Temperatures will drop by 10 to 15 degrees and wildlife will react to changing light and weather cues.

In the short span of total eclipse, day and night species will switch places.

A 1930's Journal of Science study from a total solar eclipse in New England found that mosquitos emerged in swarms and began biting, fish stopped eating, birds flew into nests, and honey bees swarmed hives before daylight disappeared.

After the sun returns, birds begin singing their morning chorus, roosters crow, and frogs begin croaking.

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) offers many public viewing areas across the path of totality.

Plan your eclipse experience with an outdoor adventure to a public Conservation Area or Natural Area near you with a map and list of MDC viewing sites.

Discover Nature is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation.