No worries for local wildlife
Tue, 03/05/2019 - 3:15pm admin
—But if you started feeding them, continue
Howard County - With this winter’s record-setting snow, Naturalist Angela Bries said there is little need to worry about the wildlife.
Although she added, “If you started feeding the birds, keep the feeders filled during the winter. Birds need to eat all day, so they can stay warm at night.”
One of the best things to feed the birds this time of year is suet. Bries said it is high in protein.
“Deer browse. They may start eating on shrubs or bushes. They generally don’t hurt them, unless they are arborvitae,” she explained.
Raccoon, opossum and skunks are other animals that can cope during heavy snows. “They will sleep for a couple days and then look for food,” the naturalist said. She has seen the animals go up to the bird feeders and get the fallen seeds.
It may sound gross, but opossums are actually good to have around as they will eat dead animals, such as birds that fly into windows and die.
Squirrels are also fine during the winter. They can smell acorns and walnuts they have buried, even with a foot of snow on the ground.
“For the most part, animals will do okay,” Bries commented. “Although when there is a layer of ice on the snow, it can be bad for some animals. Turkeys and pheasants can’t scratch down through the ice. The deer are heavier and can get through.”
She advised if anyone is concerned, they can put corn out for the deer, but those living close to towns run the risk of being overrun by the animals.
“We will probably lose some animals this winter, but it really is survival of the fittest. That’s the way nature intended things to go. It’s just Mother Nature’s way of keeping the population in check,” she observed.