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January Phenology

Did You See That?

Are you observant? If you are, you might be interested in helping us out with our phenological calendar. Phe-nol-o-gy is the study of changes in plants and animals as they respond to weather, climate, and the seasons. Each spring we anxiously await the first returning robin in the hope of warmer weather. That is a phenological event. It happens every year but the return date depends a lot on the weather. Migration and flowering are two more examples of phenological events.

Look around for the following seasonal/phenological changes and email EEK! when you notice any of the following...

  • Overwintering bald eagles soar over open water looking for fish to eat.

  • The January "thaw" brings out light sleeping critters like skunks, raccoons and opossums.

  • Anglers head to frozen lakes to ice fish. Is your local lake frozen over?

  • White snowy owls perched on fence posts or roadside signs can sometimes be seen, if you're lucky!

  • Pairs of great horned and barred owls sing duets in the night air as they get ready to mate.

  • Bear cubs are born inside their wintry dens.

  • Later this month black-capped chickadees begin to sing their courtship song.

  • Meadow voles and mice make snow tunnels as "warm" passageways between their homes and food stashes.

  • River otters slide along creek banks in the snow. Look for their tracks.



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