Quiet Winter

It’s February, and so far this winter we’ve skated by with very few cold days—no ice storms, only one brief snow, and minimal frigid NW winds. That could change at any time, but for now, I’m going to enjoy the mild fifty, sixty, and yes, even seventy degree weather.

A warm, still winter day in the Wetlands.

The bird feeders have seen steady, but not heavy, use. The local chickadees, titmice, cardinals, nuthatches, and others have been regular customers at the feeders at Bird Viewing, but I’ve not seen any panicked fill-up-ahead-of-bad-weather feeding at either suet or sunflower feeders. Before and during bad weather there’s a definite spike in feeder activity, and snow cover will peg the feeder meter.

Two Carolina chickadees enjoy a leisurely snack of sunflower seed.

Last week I spotted a red-shouldered hawk that had captured a pickerel frog along the trail through Explore the Wild.

Sharp eyes and patience paid off for this red-shouldered hawk (note frog’s head and feet dangling below bottom side of branch below hawk’s left talons).

Each winter during February, two Canada geese drop into our Wetlands. They arrived a bit early this year, the third week of January.

One of our seasonal resident Canada geese (note turtles on log).

Both red wolves here at the Museum have been seen doing much sleeping and lying around during the afternoons, as if waiting for something to happen. Let’s hope they’re resting up for the upcoming breeding season—any day now.

Sacked out on an unseasonably warm winter afternoon.
Male #1784 dreams of what’s to come.
Female #1858 may need all of her strength in the coming months.

As I write this, it’s a balmy 63 degrees. The 10 day calls for a brief dip into the forties for a high this weekend (not too bad), but it looks like smooth sailing fore and aft. Come on out and enjoy it while you can.

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