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Winter Wildlife Viewing

Winter Wildlife Viewing

Winter is an amazing time of year to look for wildlife. The snow dampens the sounds of the world and the whiteness preserves tracks and contrasts with the colors of the wildlife. Outdoors, the winter is like a silent, white wonderland. However, the snow and the quiet also make spotting wildlife more difficult as well. Many birds migrate for the winter and some animals go into hibernation, so you may have to look a little harder to spot the wild animals you're looking for.

During the winter, many animals change their patterns in order to avoid the cold and preserve energy. When food becomes scarcer, some animals go into hibernation; others burrow into the ground and remain out of sight. Many animals change their coats in order to camouflage themselves in the snow. Some animals migrate to warmer climates during the winter.

Many animals that do not hibernate during the winter stay in their dens more and move much less. It is important for these animals to preserve their energy by limiting their exposure to the cold and restricting their movements. Many animals also move to a different habitat where they are less exposed.  The snow covering all of the vegetation can be a great danger to many animals, so they find more sheltered habitats. It is likely that you will see the tracks of animals more often than you will see the animals themselves during the winter.

Snow is a great preserver of animal tracks. You may see the tracks of many different animals during your wildlife viewing expedition. When you do find animal tracks you will be able to follow the movements of animals. Unfortunately, you may be seeing tracks made by animals days earlier (depending on the weather). Even if the tracks are not fresh, it is interesting to see what animals do during the coldest season.

The snow dampens a lot of sound, but you will become more noticeable in the quiet. When trying to spot animals during the winter, try to be as quiet as possible. If you are quiet, you have a greater chance of finding an animal going about its business. If you are too loud, you will most likely scare away any wildlife in the area.

The most important skill to practice during winter wildlife viewing is patience. You need to move quietly and slowly to view wildlife. If you are patient, you may be lucky enough to see some wildlife. If you are impatient, it is likely that you will come away from your expedition without having seen any animals. Even if you don't have the chance to see any wildlife, winter wildlife viewing gives you the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature during the winter. If you do see some wildlife in the winter, it will be an experience to treasure forever.

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