Watchable Winter Wildlife

Cold weather brings out the big bucks

In the middle of winter, most people aren’t thinking about going out and enjoying their local parks. Most of us are bundled up at home left overstuffed from the holidays dreaming of warmer days to come. Nonetheless, December and January are prime times to take advantage of the peace and solitude that winter brings and get up close and personal with nature.

During the summer, most parks and recreation areas are packed with families on summer vacation. This puts pressure on wildlife and pushes them out of the area as they seek more serene surroundings. However, most folks don’t care to tent out when the mercury drops. This in addition to the rutting season means big deer can be seen. Often times, these big brutes are distracted by the does, making it easier to get some great photos. Just make sure you use common sense, and don’t get too close.

In addition to viewing deer, winter is a great time for birding. The changing seasons, bring in new species that aren’t around in the summer. A variety of migrating waterfowl including ducks, geese, and crane flock to southern wildlife refuges. Many of these locations have convenient trails and viewing platforms to make finding photo opportunities easier.

Aside from waterfowl, many species of raptors make their way south for the winter. Driving along the open roads, its not uncommon to see hawks perched on power poles scanning the grasslands for prey. If you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of a bald or golden eagle. Just keep your eyes peeled and you never know what you’ll see!

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