Seasons of Nature 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
- 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
- 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 through the end of February. Timing
of events will vary depending upon your latitude and elevation.
Seasons of Nature in New England Archives