With the cold winds of winter sweeping across the Door Peninsula many think wildlife go into hibernation. In fact there are many creatures that do hibernate, but there are some who ride out the winter with us.
In previous stories I discussed the migration that takes place over the skies of the county. However there are many native song bird species that make Door County their winter home. The Black Capped Chickadee resides in the deciduous forests of the Peninsula. In fall they begin stockpiling seeds to ride out the long and harsh winter. During this time they allow brain neurons to die to create new memory space to help them remember where they hid their food.
One of my favorite aviary residents is the Northern Cardinal. It doesn't take a veteran bird watcher to identify a male Cardinal. Their flaming red feathers make them unmistakable. Being year round residents of the area, cardinals establish heavily defended territories, especially during the spring breeding season. During the winter months their diets consist of a variety of seeds and other natural scatterings.
During the cold months birds sometimes depend on us for help. If you have never had a bird feeder I encourage you to try it. It may take a few weeks to get discovered but once it is found you will have new neighbors that will enjoy your company. Check out some of our local bird feed stores for more information.