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Phenology with local naturalist Larry Weber every Friday morning at 8:20 on Northland Morning.

Backyard Almanac: Snowfall and Early Migrants

Two Canada geese flying across a grey-blue sky
David Lawrence [via Flickr]

It keeps adding up. More snow is expected over the weekend and it’s looking to be a snowy March. “March is the month of the deepest snowpack,” says Larry Weber. It’s also a month of crusty snow. This month has seen the season total eclipse 100 inches, but Weber is not convinced that breaking the season record is in the cards; 135 inches is where the record currently stands.

“Spring Swamp Watch” is one of Weber’s annual activities that helps track the changing season. When the ice starts to break up, the animal activity picks up. Open water will give Canada Geese a layover location. Keep your eyes open for other early migrants like trumpeter swans and Sandhill cranes.

The thawing and refreezing that can often occur in March results in tough conditions for animals that seek shelter in the snow. “For many wildlife it can be a pretty tough time to survive,” says Weber. Squirrels, whose food caches might be lost in the snow, could be looking to the bark of maple trees for nourishment. If you see a stripped maple, it’s possibly the sign of a hungry squirrel snacking its way through the last days of winter.

Luke Moravec is the host for Northland Morning on The North 103.3. He’s also a local actor, musician and writer. He loves puzzles, riddles and fun mysteries.
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