Nature Notes

By Jim Gilbert February is often the most pleasant month of winter, mainly due to the 80 minutes of added daylight we receive as the month proceeds. Lakes are now covered by at least 18 to 30 inches of ice, but always respect changing conditions and be careful. After a fresh snowfall it’s fun to [...]

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By Jim Gilbert Lately we have been hearing the duet hooting of great horned owl pairs that are setting up nesting territories. Now and into February is egg laying time for these owls; they are the earliest birds to hatch young in the state. Following a snow or sleet storm, it’s not uncommon to see [...]

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By Jim Gilbert We have had a few days lately with the splendid white frost, also called hoar frost, and can expect to see this wonder of the natural world again soon. It is created when nights are clear and calm, and air next to the surface is relatively moist. If the surface temperatures of [...]

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By Jim Gilbert Now that the mating season is over, white-tailed deer continue their quest to survive, and the bucks begin dropping their antlers. Deer have keen senses, including excellent eyesight and hearing. They are color blind, seeing the world in shades of gray, and do not appear to see an object that does not [...]

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Within minutes after sunrise the first small flock of colorful blue jays arrives at our feeding station. The foot-long blue and white, gray and black birds, each with a crest that moves up and down at will, relish the cracked corn we scatter on the ground below our feeders. Earlier in the fall many observers [...]

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By Jim Gilbert The home range of the wild turkey is the eastern, southern, and southwestern United States, and down into Mexico. There is no positive evidence that this species had ever existed in Minnesota before European settlement, but they were introduced into the southern part of the state as far back as 1936. Now, [...]

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