Whitetails in Winter, 2021-2022

Late fall and winter are really good times to observe and photograph whitetails. During the autumn rut, deer are active throughout the day, often preoccupied and reckless. In winter, the availability of food declines sharply, forcing deer to throw caution to the wind and feed whenever and wherever they can. They’re apt to forage in broad daylight and in close proximity to humans.

A young buck searching for does (and persistent wild apples) in early December
A mature doe and one of her fawns foraging during a mid winter snow storm
A fawn browsing Northern White-cedar, critical habitat for deer, grouse and other wildlife in the snow belt. At the time of this post, these cedar trees were bare below 5-6 feet – the browse height of deer
Unharvested corn is a wildlife magnet in winter; over 50 deer visited this site daily
A fawn in early February that appears to be in excellent condition, with a heavy coat and good body weight. In severe winters with persistent, deep snow, fawns account for the highest deer mortality.
Backyard wildlife in winter!
A mature, “trophy” buck, looking rather pedestrian after shedding his antlers on/about January 1, 2022.
A clear view of the pedicles where antlers were shed – and new ones will soon develop

“If we allow ourselves to be enchanted by the beauty of the ordinary, we begin to see that all things are extraordinary” – Dean Koontz

Photos by NB Hunter (December, 2021 – February, 2022). © All Rights Reserved.

Backyard Birding in Winter

When winter birding in the snow belt, observing backyard bird feeding stations is often more enjoyable, and more productive, than fighting cold temperatures and blowing snow. Several well-spaced feeding sites, maintained with grain, Niger seed and suet cakes, attract dozens of birds throughout the day. Early morning, mid day and mid afternoon are prime times and feeding always intensifies when the snow is falling. These are some of my favorite captures from January to the present (since my last post on the subject).

Northern Cardinal, male
Northern Cardinal, female
Slate-colored Junco
Black-capped Chickadee
Blue Jay
Mourning Dove
Tufted Titmouse
Red-bellied Woodpecker
Purple Finch, male
Purple Finch, female
White-throated Sparrow
Cooper’s Hawk

Photos by NB Hunter (January and February, 2022). © All Rights Reserved.