December Nature Happenings

  • Project FeederWatch continues. Click here for more info on how to participate right from home!
  • The annual Christmas Bird Count happens this month. Click here for information on this awesome citizen science project. 
  • Sumac, Bittersweet, Poison Ivy and other berries remain throughout the winter, providing food for many species of birds. A few years back, a vagrant Mountain Bluebird landed at the DNR boat launch off South River Road, and fed for days on the Sumac there.
  • Winter raptors may show up, including Snowy Owls and Northern GoshawksSnowy Owls are often seen at the DNR boat launch in Harrison Township.
  • Chipmunks and raccoons hole up for the winter, but may reappear with mild winter weather.

  • Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pine Siskins, Common Redpolls and crossbills visit feeders now through March. This year is also turning out to be a good year for irregular migrants like Evening and Pine Grosbeaks and Bohemian Waxwings. Keep your eyes on those feeders and share your sightings with us!

  • Eastern Monarch Butterflies finish reaching their central Mexican overwintering sites starting in late-December.
  • Bald Eagles arrive from the North to overwinter. Watch for them out on the lake, where they often sit on the ice hunting ducks.

  • This is a great time to teach Black-capped Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Tufted Titmice to feed from your hand. It takes patience but it can be done!
  • Watch for late waterfowl migrants such as Northern Shovelers, mergansers, Ruddy Ducks and Common Goldeneyes.
  • The Geminid Meteor Shower is mid-month. December 13th and 14th are said to be the peak dates.