New Hampshire Wildlife News
by Certified Wildlife Biologist, Eric P. Orff

New Hampshire Nature Notes
by Eric Orff

Saturday Brrrrrrrrrrr!

Saturday 01/15/2022

Minus one at eight this morning. Is it time to start counting down the days until spring?

Yes, we are in the second arctic blast to hit New Hampshire in a week. Truthfully an arctic blast that was needed to finally give us some decent ice for ice fishing. Less than a week ago, the 10th, Lake Winnipesaukee was mostly ice free. We are now less than a month away from New Hampshire's biggest winter fishing derby the Rotary Derby. Yes, indeed we needed a change in temperatures.

Just this week news was released that this December was either the warmest, or near the top of the warmest Decembers on record for the US. As I gaze out my winter windows here this afternoon in Central New Hampshire we have maybe three or four inches of snow. In fact, if I lift my gaze to beneath the tall pines across the road, the ground lays bare. Last Friday's snow was only the second real snow we've had so far this winter. Not much of a winter on this state's wildlife locally, and from what I'm hearing, not all that much snow to the north. A week ago, today, a couple snow machines putted while slowly moving by my house, that has set here for four decades now on a significant statewide trail. Pretty tough business to be in the last couple of decades as climate change continues to erode our winters. 

Something weird is going on with the local birds here at my house. Two or three weeks ago birds were pretty common here. Kind of usual winter numbers. A few chickadees, juncos, blue jays, cardinals, titmice, woodpeckers, nuthatches and a small flock of about ten doves. In the last week I have had nearly none most days. I saw only one blue jay yesterday and a couple juncos. This is definitely not normal. I really have no clue as to why. I'll start asking some of my biologist friends to seek answers. Something weird seems to be happening.

Turkeys do remain visible at a distant and pretty abundant. The local farmer Stewart Yeaton spots manure piles from his dairy cattle in several of the fields nearby each fall purposely to help feed the turkeys through the winter. The corn fed to his cows is not all digested leaving a pile of corn for the local turkeys to search and scratch through all winter provide for their survival. Our farmers are certainly underappreciated in many ways. We would not have the numbers of turkeys statewide if not for the fewer than a hundred dairy farms left in New Hampshire. We must and should do all we can to help them survive.

I haven't seen a deer or much of anything else in a while. That's except for a River otter on the Little Suncook River Thursday morning. Always so nice to spot an otter.

Next Note

A Bluebird Day!

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