Hunger Season

Deep snow makes walking hard for people and animals.  The trails, compacted by people, are easier paths and used by lots of animals.  The wing and body feathers of a Tufted Titmouse mark the spot on the boardwalk trail where a predator found a meal.  Bird or mammal?  Hard to tell.

Tufted titmouse wing and body feathers

Some predators leave signs like scat in the trail.  Ropy scat with hair and bones can be fox or coyote.

predator scat

Food is scarce for wildlife.  But wood chips on the snow are the work of a woodpecker drilling into a tree in search of insects, grubs, eggs, or pupae.

woodpecker chips

Some plants keep their seeds well into winter, providing some food for birds and small mammals.  The Catalpa with its long string bean-like seed pods sheds small seeds onto the snow covered boardwalk .

Catalpa pods

Catalpa seeds

The scene from the main bridge looks like tundra.


But there are signs of thawing along Indian Brook.

ice melting in Indian Brook

As many as three dozen American Robins enjoy the crabapples remaining on trees in the parking lot.  Even dried fruit can be food this time of year.

2-26-14 Robins at the crab apple tree

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