Last winter seemed to go on forever and maybe that’s why it seemed so cold. But whatever happened last year, is defiantly not happening now. Late spring, what seemed too short of a summer and maybe an endless fall has finally jumped into the middle of winter. And while you may be concerned about frost bite or trying to text with gloves on, did you ever stop to think about those poor little squirrels? Or the crazy geese that still haven’t flown south?
Now that you’re thinking about that, take a moment before you start knitting sweaters for the forest creatures. They may not be doing as bad as you would think. Research scientist for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Jeff Bowmn says wildlife is very diligent and nature has a way of being prepared for almost anything. He says s
Bowmn explains that maybe animals and humans are on the same page when it comes to staying warm. A hot drink or warm meal can keep me cozy on a winter’s night, and as for the squirrels sitting in my backyard, them eating is a pretty good idea too.
Eating helps keep them warm and since this fall has been so long and warm in comparison to other years, the animals have had extra time to store up and get fat. But when eating to the point of bursting isn’t cutting it and what if the fall wasn’t long and warm? How else can our urban critters keep themselves going this winter and do they have any idea how?
They have tactics so keep warm and make surviving the winter very possible. This is all part of natural selection and keeps wildlife able to adapt. Without these kinds of extremes we wouldn’t see diversity in survival strategies. Maybe you’re starting to feel a little better about how the animals are doing and can go back to focusing on how your fingers are too frozen to text. But even though they have all these ways to stay warm, I know that one of the hardest things for me is going from a warm house, out into the freezing world. How can a tiny squirrel stay out there all the time and not have a problem?
Bowmn says because the animals are always outside, they don’t notice the change in weather as much and are able to adjust to it better than we could.
The winter may be a brutal time for us and despite being Canadian we still complain about the cold, so maybe the true Canadians are those grey squirrels and geese that refuse to fly south. Mother Nature seems to have it all figured out and makes sure that every critter is taken care of.