It was late in the winter, but a couple weeks ago we finally had a spectacular snowfall! Here at Ashland, we had an absolutely perfect opportunity for finding evidence of some of our winter animals (and for sledding!)
Birds are everywhere! Many birds migrate away from Delaware for the winter, but the ones that stay have to figure out what to do when there’s so much snow on the ground. It’s harder to find food, and much harder to stay warm. If you do see any birds when it’s this cold, they’ll be sitting in the trees with their feathers fluffed up to hold in heat.
On snowy days, it’s easier to see where animals and people have been walking. It’s amazing just how many people walk the trails here at Ashland Nature Center, alone or with their dogs. When I was out on a walk, I saw footprints, dog paw prints, ski tracks, and sled tracks. Every footstep makes a mark in the snow, and if you grab a field guide and keep your eyes open, who knows what animals you’ll find evidence of!
But springtime is coming, and the snow can’t stick around forever. As the snow melts, some of the season’s first flowers are starting to show, and animals are starting to come back from their winter homes.
Tree swallows are small, iridescent birds that migrate down to Central America during the winter, and travel as far north as the Arctic Circle to breed in the summer. Below is an example of tree swallow sounds. See if you can find any of these birds outside this week!
Come on over to Ashland Nature Center during the week and stop in at the visitor’s center for trail guides to help you learn more about the plants and animals you can find here!