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Seasons of Nature in New England
- Late Winter -

   Common winter feeder birds in New England  

The black bear will give birth during late January or early February -- usually to 2 or 3 cubs. The cubs weigh only 8-12 ounces at birth. They nurse on their mother's high-fat milk and weigh about 6-8 pounds by the time they emerge from hibernation in early spring. The cubs remain with their mother for the next year and a half.


During the coldest months of the year, the white-tailed deer become much less active and their metabolic rate is reduced by about one half. This allows them to reduce their food intake, which is important since there is a scarcity of high-energy food during the winter. During this time, it sometimes requires more energy for the deer to find and digest food than the energy they get from the food itself.

•   The courtship activity of the great horned owl begins around the end of January or beginning of February. These birds do not generally build nests of their own. Usually they take over unoccupied nests of birds such as ravens, crows, or raptors. Occasionally, they nest in tree cavities or on cliff ledges.  

The breeding season for the Eastern coyote peaks around the middle of February. The coyote becomes more vocal during the breeding season as they seek mates and establish their territory.


This is also the breeding season for red foxes, gray squirrels, and striped skunks. Striped skunk breeding continues until about mid-April.


By the end of February, the Northern cardinals have begun their courting behavior. The female cardinal will be heard singing after the male has established territory and before nest building begins.


Note:  The "late winter" period is the time from approximately mid-January thru the end of February. Timing of events will vary depending upon your latitude and elevation.

  Seasons of Nature in New England Archives  
Interesting facts about...
          the Pileated Woodpecker

The territory of this bird may extend to a mile or more, which is one reason we tend to see fewer pileated woodpeckers in a given area than other types of woodpeckers.

A pileated woodpecker pair will share territory throughout the year. However, the male and female birds roost separately at night.

This bird's nest cavity is usually in a dead tree about 50 feet off the ground. The nest cavity is more roundish than the oblong-shaped cavity excavated by these birds in search of insects.
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