Naturalist News – Winter 2013

red maple buds
red maple buds

The last few days were warm in Philadelphia. January 14, 2013 had a high of  58°F with a low of 38°F. This is not normal. The average January temperature is 25.5°F.

It feels like unseasonably warm is the “new winter”. But, still it is winter. Here is a some of the winter happenings you can look out for.

Did You Know?

Male deer shed their antlers in late winter? Antlers shed and horns do not. Antlers grow on male animals not females. Horns grow on both male and female animals.

grass plumes
grass plumes

Some Past In Season Blog Posts on Winter Events

Nature in Winter: an overview of the season with links to posts on winter happenings

Winter Nature Journal Prompts

Searching for Abandoned Bird Nests

IMG_0048

Seasons

Season holiday: Imbolc – February 2nd (Groundhog Day) – Spring begins to show

Spring Equinox – March 20th (day and night are of equal length, the days begin to grow longer after today)

pond at Tinicum
pond at Tinicum

Full Moons

January Full Moon – Full Wolf Moon

February Full Moon – Full Snow Moon

March Full Moon – March 8th – Worm Moon (worms seen above ground)

Full moons always rise near sunset

ice patterns
ice patterns

Seasonal Events

January
Birds: Watching water birds, Mating season for Great Horned Owls
Sky: Quadrantids meteor shower,

February
Birds:  Feeder watching, winter birds, Great Backyard Bird Count

March
Nature in Spring: An Overview of the season.
Birds: Waterfowl begin northward migration, Early nesting species begin breeding
Flowers: In bloom – Skunk Cabbage
Trees: Tree buds swell, pollen released
Sky: Spring Equinox

abandoned bird nest
abandoned bird nest

Citizen Science to Participate In:

Project Feederwatch – Project Feederwatch is still going on. It ends the first Friday in April. http://www.birds.cornell.edu/pfw/index.html

Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology – help with blooming and fruiting times of plants

ducks huddled in the cold
ducks huddled in the cold

Articles to read about Winter

When the Mercury Drops, Great Horned Owls Gear Up for Courtship

Getting Through Winter: Four Animals that Flirt with Freezing

Cougars are in the Philadelphia and Delaware Valley. This is an informative article on the big cats. Cougars: On the Trail of the Ghost Cat

That’s all for this issue. Look for the next Naturalist News at the beginning of spring.

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