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Winter in the Woods

Dec 30, 2015

It’s tempting to think that nature slows down in the winter, and for some of our species, this is true. For many species, though, things heat up when the weather gets cold.

Less Food Means More Movement

Animals have to work harder through the winter for food to obtain precious calories. In most species, this means they’ll be moving more. Migratory bird species will be searching for winter food sources which are often hard to come by. This makes winter a great time to feed birds and enjoy the species that don’t typically call Missouri home.

Cute little birds aren’t the only ones more active on a winter’s day in search of food. The remains of deer carcasses from the hunting seasons are all but gone by late December and this means coyotes and other predators are hungry and on the move. Winter is a great time to see these wary creatures slipping through a farmer’s field in search of a rabbit or mouse. While you’re watching those fields, be sure to keep an eye in the sky as well—the chill of winter pushes peak numbers of Bald Eagles into Missouri in search of food through January and February.

Signs of Wildlife

If you’re lucky enough to find yourself out of doors after a fresh Missouri snowfall, you have to look no further than the ground in front of you to find signs of winter wildlife at work. Fresh powder creates a blank canvas for wildlife to leave their mark. It makes finding tracks and learning what wildlife live near you easier than any other time of year. Rabbits, raccoons, and squirrel tracks are all very common to see, even in an urban area.

Bundle up and Head out

So even if the winter weather is tempting you to stay inside, remember that nature is harder at work than ever just outside your front door. Go out and see the sights Missouri’s winter has to offer you.

coyote.jpg

Coyote in Winter
Coyote in Winter

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Eastern Bluebird
Eastern Bluebird in Snow
An eastern bluebird eats a berry while trying to stay warm after a snowstorm.

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