There are thousands of people that move south for the winter months to escape the bone chilling temperatures and snowy roadways. A large portion of the population stays cooped up in there homes, only to be seen when they need to shop for food. And, for the active winter group, we add an extra layer or two of clothes to brave the elements. Sound familiar? These are essentially the same practices animals use when the temperatures become challenging.
Migration - There is a reason we use the term "Snowbirds" to describe the individuals who move to Florida and Arizona for the winter months. They are using the same technique that many of our avian friends use every year. They migrate. What better way to survive snow and cold temperatures than to move somewhere warmer.
Hibernation/Dormancy - Everyone has had the friend, family member, or neighbor that is mysteriously absent from December 26th until the first sunny and 50 degree day in March. You may catch a glimpse of them at the grocery store or maybe shoveling snow off the front porch, but the sighting is often a brief one, as they quickly slide out of sight into the toasty confines of their home. This dormancy or hibernation period is also employed by animals and most plants during the winter. By finding a comfortable and warm place to sleep and exerting as little energy as possible, some humans as well as the animals and plants, are just waiting out the winter until the conditions are more conducive to regular activity.
Adaptation - The final group of people and wildlife, is the active in cold weather group. This group has developed or in the case of most humans, purchased, adaptations to make the winter more enjoyable or tolerable depending on your viewpoint. Our down jackets and sleeping bags trap our body heat under a layer of insulation much like the fluffed up downy birds sitting in your feeder. Your wicking, insulating, weatherproof layering systems mock similar adaptations in animals. For this group its bundle up and get moving.
So whether your stop on the Arctic Express is Florida, your living room, or a ski hill; think about how you are surviving the cold weather and appreciate what we have learned from our furry and feathered friends.
"Don't knock the weather, nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation without it" - Kin Hubbard