Warm winter

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January ends, and outside the window is still warm and not snowy winter. The snow that fell on January 11 gave hope that winter would finally become snowy and frosty. But after a short time, the thermometer column steadily crawled up, the white snowdrifts began to thaw, the spring drops began.

All this, of course, could not but affect the life of animals in the Moscow region. Many birds, traditionally flying away to winter in the warm lands, this year decided to take a chance and stay at home.

In Moscow you will not surprise anyone with ducks swimming in the middle of winter on ice-free water bodies, but this is not often seen on our river Oka – mallards happily feed in shallow water free of ice. Why fly away for thousands of kilometers when at home there is plenty of food.

Non-freezing rivers and streams give plenty of food to the tiny Eurasian wren, and the branches, piled on top of a beaver’s hut, serve as a wonderful shelter. So, maybe this bird will live in one place until spring, the beaver family will be the first to greet during the spring dam repair!

Restless woodpeckers scurry from tree to tree in the forest – warm winter without snow allows them to get to their favorite and high-calorie goodies – ants. Almost all anthills are dotted with holes and even tunnels after meals of gray-headed, green and black woodpeckers.

Great gray shrike preys in open spaces – it is also easy for him to catch rodents now, and nomadic flocks of small birds do not always have time to hide unharmed.

Only hazel grouse are a bit unhappy – they like to bury themselves in the snow at night, but as long as there is no frost, you can spend the night on a tree, under fir branches. But spiders and various insects run around the trunks, and this is a good addition to lean plant food – aspen and birch buds.

Already almost the middle of winter, and wintering birds have good chances to survive it and contribute to the spring polyphony. And let the snow still fall! Without it, the soil will not get enough moisture, there will be no spring flood.