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In contrast to us, the wild animals can not retreat to the heat in the cold and the food supply leaves much to be desired at this time of the year. Fortunately, depending on the species, nature has come up with a variety of wintering tricks to help the animals survive until spring: some are asleep, others are resting, some are falling into a cold. The rest can grow a thick winter coat and turn to other food.
If you have wings, you can escape ice and snow in time. Swallows, redstart and warblers choose this route and head south and even some butterflies like Painted Lady and Admiral make their way. Sparrows, the great tit and magpies belong to the so-called resident birds and spend the winter with us.
Robins wait for us even in icy temperatures. The puffing up of the plumage is a trick against the cold: this is how an insulating air cushion is formed
Ground as a retreat in winter
The deep layers of soil are a safe retreat, because more than half a meter, the frost rarely penetrates. Here, the earthworms retreat and form nests - even if they show up in mild periods on the surface. Accordingly, the mole digs to find its food - it does not hibernate. Unfortunately, the vole is not. The animals use the snow cover to lay their courses directly in the turf. The snowmelt then releases its waving activity.
Toads and lizards also seek out bottom holes to protect themselves. Old mouse walks or foul stumps are popular hiding places. Frogs also usually do not overwinter in the pond mud, but in the soil on land. If you stay in the water like fish and insect larvae, look for the deepest spot and stay there while you are resting.
The fox drives hunger into the settlements. You usually do not get to see him, but you can discover his tracks in the fresh snow
These animals overwinter above ground
Butterflies overwinter mostly as an egg or in the larval stage. The dovetail doll hangs well camouflaged close to the ground - a reason why you should leave perennials and grasses in a few corners and not cut back in autumn. As butterflies, lemon butterflies and peacock's eye outlast. The latter often sits in sheltered spaces such as a garage or garden shed. The dormouse also likes to use a niche as a hiding place. Ladybugs look for the warmth and find themselves in cracks around windows and shutters. Their main food, the aphids, outlast as eggs. For hatching ready they hang mostly on the young shoots of trees and shrubs.
An insect hotel offers shelter to numerous animals. In the clay-sealed stems, the larvae of mason bees are waiting for spring
A well-known hibernation guest in the garden is the hedgehog, which simply sleeps under a pile of leaves or hedgehog house in the cold months. Also dormouse, bat, hamster or marmot belong to the winter sleepers. Breath and heart rate and body temperature are reduced, the animals feed on their fat reserves. If they are disturbed and wake up, perhaps because they have to change their place, the loss of energy is often life-threatening. In contrast, squirrels or raccoons only hibernate in the cold weeks, meaning they keep waking up to eat and visit their supplies. On very cold days, however, they are reluctant to leave their homes.
We can support all active or occasionally awake guests in the garden. And so, before we make ourselves comfortable inside, we fill the bird feeders and squirrels with energy-rich delicacies.