WATCHING WILDLIFE IN WINTER   3 comments

A red fox dives for fleeing mice in field of brown grass.  An eagle soars overhead calling to its mate with a shrill scream.  A white-tailed deer browses on the edge of a thicket. Canadageese rest in the wetlands.  This is outdoor recreation at its wildest. 

Nature lovers can find all sorts of birds and animals to watch throughout the woods and fields.  Especially popular are the bird watching.  Hunters learn the habits of their quarry that will improve their success ratio next hunting season. 

A variety of vegetation and terrain attracts and holds numerous species of birds and mammals.  Birds are residents, migrants, or frequent visitors to your area. 

Watching wildlife does not take a lot of expensive gear.  Binoculars and some guide books are a good beginning.  Field guides assist in identification and help at home when reviewing ones notes from a day afield. 

When heading out, be sure to take a notebook.  Field notes should include the date, location, weather conditions and animal behavior, along with any unique observations. 

Beginners must learn to identify animals and birds by sight and sound.  Noting the color, shape and other outstanding observations make it easier to identify species. 

Familiarize yourself with animal behavior and favored habitats.  For example, deer tend to prefer thick cover until late in the day when they move out into fields to feed.

 Learn to recognize animal habitats.  This knowledge assists in identification and helps to eliminate species not associated with a specific habitat.

 Advanced wildlife watchers learn the calls and songs of mammals or birds.  This helps to identify those species which may be hidden in dense cover.  By familiarizing oneself with bird songs and mammal calls, one can chase down each sound until he discovers the source.

 The direct approach is not the best way to seek out wildlife.  Wild animals must always be wary of possible danger and when an intruder comes straight at them it usually signals a threat.  By acting disinterested while sneaking a glance now and then, you may be able to observe the unfolding drama of their activities.

 It is important to be patient and avoid direct attention to the animal encountered.  Appear disinterested.  Fiddle with vegetation, look away from the animal while moving slowly closer and you will be able to approach much closer than you would think.  Staring at an animal causes them fear and uneasiness.  Quick looks are much less obvious and less likely to make the animal nervous.

 Some animals such as ducks and geese can become very approachable due to constant association with human activity.  Other animals are so skittish that the first hint of the presence of humans sends them fleeing. 

Generally, however, the use of patience in observing wildlife works well.  It will result in closer views for you and less intimidation for the animal.  Watching wildlife can be challenging and educational.

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3 responses to “WATCHING WILDLIFE IN WINTER

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  1. Pingback: WATCHING WILDLIFE IN WINTER | Survival Fishing

  2. Great posts Don. You have a tremendous wisdom about nature and wildlife. Thanks for sharing it!

  3. I always enjoy watching television the most when it’s cold outside. While it’s true that the fall season brings me some of my favorite shows, I simply have to look at little harder to find some good programming during the winter months.

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