I went out to put some brunch on the Magic Rock for the fox this morning and was startled by the wings of a falcon coming up from the backside of the rock.
There was a Sharp Shinned hawk with a blue jay in his talons. There were feathers everywhere.
Yesterday there were 14 blue jays driving away all other birds even a male hairy woodpecker that was on the suet.
One less today.
Yesterday Debbie had to stop on 31 to let 6 deer cross. She said they looked good, even fat.
They may need those fat reserves if this weather continues.
The fact that they were bunched up already is an indication of the severity of recent weather.
The WSI, winter survival index or as some call it, the wildlife survival index, is already at 3 for December.
The WSI is the number of days that the temperature goes below zero or that there is more than 18” of snow on the ground.
Last December we had none. This year we are already at 3.
In ‘11 we had 38 for the season. 0 in ’12, which is the record, and 32 last year, ’13.
Under 30 is good over 40 is a disaster. In 1968 it was over 100 and 2 out of every 3 deer in northern New England died.
The late winter, March and April, are the key months because the deer have used up their fat reserves by then.
Here’s hoping for a thaw.