Weathering the Winter Wonderland!

Print Article

A wonderful winter wonderland scene west of Bonners Ferry on the Kootenai River where it navigates around Ambush Rock. Photo by Don Bartling

Now that Christmas is over and winter has set in, many may want to spend the rest of the season inside their house in front of a warm fire. Curling up in a warm den, as much of our local wildlife do, I think that might even sound like a good idea.

I look outside and see the warm colors of autumn have been replaced with browns, grays and whites of the winter landscape. Evergreens, out-dressed most of the year by more flamboyant trees, stand out. The skies are quieter. The migrating waterfowl and songbirds have pretty much reached their wintering grounds.

Trees in winter no longer hide wildlife from our view. A pair of bald eagles, perched on a bare branch, are easily spotted on the banks of the Kootenai River west of Bonners Ferry.

Quiet and still as the winter months may be, wildlife still abounds. Anyone with a passion for feeding birds is treated to a daily performance as sparrows, chickadees, finches, nuthatches, woodpeckers, ravens and Stellerís jays vie for space at a feeding station. Squirrels busily search for their buried stash or, if unsuccessful, raid the bird feeders.

In winter most of the more familiar mammals in Boundary County do not actually hibernate. Deer, mice, wolves, foxes, squirrels snowshoe hares and rabbits are active throughout winter. Only bears truly hibernate. Others, like the raccoon and skunk, go into a semi-hibernating stage. They may sleep for days or weeks at a time, then emerge for food or during an unusually warm winter day.

One may not realize how much wildlife is out and about until a light snow blankets the ground. Take a walk immediately after the snowfall. Look down for telltale tracks in the snow.

Begin by looking at familiar tracks. A dogís track is different from a catís in that the dogís prints show claws while the catís do not because of its retractable claws.

So when the winter blues bring you down and cabin fever abounds, look to the outdoors for a new experience to help you weather the winter wonderland in Boundary County.

Print Article

Read More Outdoors

Wildlifeís adaptation to winter

January 18, 2018 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald Itís cold outside! When it gets cold what do you do? I put on a warm sweater, stay inside and have a hot cup of coffee! Animals canít put on a sweater, so what do they do in winter? Winter is cold a...

Comments

Read More

Mountain Chickadee: The Masked Bandit of the bird feeder!

January 11, 2018 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald As I was watching our bird feeder on the west side of the house I noticed an unusual increase in activity at the feeder. I thought it was a chickadee, but on closer inspection I observed it had a mas...

Comments

Read More

Feeding birds makes a difference in winter

January 04, 2018 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald Mammals have begun to hunker down in warm dens. Many birds have left the area to spend the season basking in the southern climates of Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Some b...

Comments

Read More

Weathering the Winter Wonderland!

December 28, 2017 at 6:00 am | Bonners Ferry Herald Now that Christmas is over and winter has set in, many may want to spend the rest of the season inside their house in front of a warm fire. Curling up in a warm den, as much of our local wildlife do,...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 267-5521
Po Box 539
Bonners Ferry, Id 83805

©2018 Bonners Ferry Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X