Wednesday Creature Feature ~ December 13, 2017

 

Snowy Owls Migrating South!

Indiana and other Midwestern states are about to see an influx of gorgeous white owls! These all-white owls are native to the Arctic and are rarely seen south of Lake Michigan! Bird biologist Allisyn Gillet says the owls migrate south from northern Canada. This is called an irruption, and only happens every 4 to 5 years. Researchers are saying this is supposed to be the largest irruption yet! To learn more about these amazing animals and their migratory patterns click here!

 

 

Starving Polar Bears!

It’s no surprise that the ice caps are melting but the saddest part of all is that a huge number of animals, including polar bears, rely on the ice for survival. The lack of sea ice leaves polar bears without their food. With the Earth heating up over the years due to the ozone depletion, it has caused these ice caps to melt. When photographer Paul Nicklen and his filmmakers arrived on Baffin Island in the late summer they came cross this heartbreaking site. Below in the video you can see the very skinny and starving polar bear. Paul said he has been around bears his entire life but has never seen something so “gut-wrenching”. The polar bear showed signs of muscle atrophy and starvation as it rummaged through a nearby trashcan used seasonally by Inuit fishers.

The bear was so starved that it collapsed after finding nothing to eat. Many have asked the photographer why he did not intervene and he said, “Of course that crossed my mind, but it’s not like I walk around with a tranquilizer gun or 400 pounds of seal meat.” Even if he did have enough seal meat for the polar bear it would only have prolonged his misery, as he would not have any food later. It is also illegal to feed wild polar bears in Canada. Research shows that polar bears will most likely all be extinct within 100 years!

To learn more about climate change and how it affects these bears as well as all animals, click here!

Squirrels Gone Wild!

Have you ever wondered why a squirrel darts up a tree, digs holes, or flicks their tails? Well sit tight because we are about to tell you!

Most of us might think that all squirrels do are stuff themselves full of food, while that is partially true, there are other reasons behind their quirky behavior. Not every squirrel is the same, there are around 287 different species of them! To help prepare for winter they spend a lot of time “caching” otherwise known as scavenging for food! Their behavior isn’t as erratic as it may seem, research has shown that they organize their nuts better than most humans organize their closets. Squirrels use a zig zag motion to avoid predators. They will dart back and forth to get away from anything that looks to harm them! Every wondered why they flick their tail? A squirrel that flicks its tail in a snappy manor is most likely frustrated and showing a reaction much like a human stomping their foot.

To learn more about why squirrels act the way they do click here. And if you want to go squirrel watching head to your local park right now as they stock up for winter!

 

 

 

 

Credit for stories ~ corresponds with links

Editor ~ Chelsea Dugger

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *