The natural beauty of the Muskoka region is a big draw to many visitors and residents, including the varied wildlife which can be found here throughout the year. You may wonder, are there really many animals to see once winter snows arrive? The answer is yes, and winter is often the best season to see many of our year-round wild residents.
To be sure, some animals do hibernate the winter away, while others migrate south to warmer climates. But many of our native species are well adapted to life in the snow and cold. Whether you already live on your own secluded nature haven, or are thinking of moving here for year-round living, the Muskoka region is alive with wildlife every season. Listed below are just a few of the animals to watch for while enjoying our winter wonderland.
Birds of a feather, flock together. Permanent Muskoka bird residents include the chickadee, which can often be seen in the company of other birds such as red and white-breasted nuthatches. Hanging a birdfeeder in your yard could help attract these smaller birds right to your door.
If you hear the echoing sound of a woodpecker resonating through the forest, chances are it’s either the downy or hairy woodpecker. Other birds to find include ruffed grouse and wild turkey.
Not only do we have birds who live here year-round, the Muskoka region is actually south enough for some far north ranging birds to migrate to for the winter months. The pine grosbeak and redpoll, a small brightly colored red and pink bird are two such migrants which can be found foraging for food.
Perhaps the most exciting migrating bird you can find in our region however, is the bald eagle. Our area becomes ideal hunting grounds for these magnificent birds of prey; winter is the best season to see them around Muskoka. Several species of owl also migrate from Northern Canada including boreal and great gray owls as well as the northern hawk owl and even snowy owls.
ammals are always exciting to see during the winter as so many do hibernate by comparison. While it is rarer to see four-legged beasts in the snow, they are out there. Even if you don’t catch a glimpse of these elusive creatures, searching for tracks can be just as exciting. The most active mammals in a Muskoka winter include white-tailed deer, foxes, snowshoe hares, white-footed mice and even some squirrels, which switch between hibernation and bursts of wakeful activity throughout the season.
For those willing to venture farther into the wild woods of the Muskoka region, you may encounter evidence of bobcats, fishers, which are similar to pine martens that are also found here, as well as moose and wolves.
If you spend some time along river and lake shorelines, you may even find mink or river otter tracks on frozen lake surfaces, something to watch for if you go hiking at this time of year. Otter trails are also something to look for, as these large, aquatic mammals also have a fun side, and are known to go sliding down slopes to the waters’ edge throughout the year.
If you are ready to get out into the wilds of the Muskoka region, you are sure to find some incredible animals even in the winter months. Discover more about what and where you can find our regional wildlife with this in-depth article published by MuskokaRegion.com, and then get out and enjoy this special part of winter where we live.
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This information is taken from sources deemed to be reliable. The Wearing Parrott Team does not guarantee accuracy; we recommend information be validated independently.