December Nature Notes

Dec. 11: Full Moon, Dec. 25: New Moon

Dec. 21: Winter Solstice - the sun is at its lowest point in the sky. It's the shortest day of the year and the start of winter.

Sumac, bittersweet, poison ivy, and other berries remain throughout the winter, providing food for many species of birds, including Robins, Bluebirds, and Cedar Waxwings.

Winter raptors, like the Snowy Owl and Northern Goshawk, may show up.

Chipmunks and Raccoons hole up for the winter, but may reappear with mild winter weather.

There is unlikely to be much of an irruption of Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls, or Evening Grosbeaks this winter. Still, some individuals may wander and visit feeders now through March.

Eastern Monarch Butterflies have all reached their central Mexican wintering grounds by December.

Waterfowl migration peaks. Watch for migrants such as grebes, loons, shovelers, mergansers, ruddy ducks, goldeneyes, and swans.

Rare gulls and terns may show up at Presque Isle.

Reindeer congregate on rooftops late in the month!